Jan 3 Gen 7:14-11:9; Psa 3:1-8

Evidence for the life (both animal and vegetable) that was blotted out during the Noahic Flood exists in the fossil record. Problems arise in interpretation of that record due to the (often faulty) preconceptions of those reviewing that record. The folks at the Creation Museum south of Cincinnati are looking to build a full-scale model of Noah’s ark, for only twenty-five million dollars. I am wondering how long it will take them to build theirs!

Have you ever thought about what it was like on the ark? First of all the fright of the initial storm? Then the boredom of being on the ark for over a year (although it was much larger than most of us imagine)? And perhaps the smells, noises, and routines (or lack thereof)? But God “remembered” them all (8:1).

Have you really contemplated the promise of God at 8:21-22? Do you think of God and His promises (and commands) when you see a rainbow (9:1-17)?

What is the purpose of chapter 10?

Why would mankind begin to sin so quickly after all mankind had been wiped out (within a few generations) by a flood sent because of sin (11:1-9)? Are we any smarter today?

If you were in David’s shoes (Psalm 3, introduction which is verse 1 in the Hebrew) would you be able to praise God in this situation (verses 7-8)?

Jan 2 Gen 4:1-7:13; Psa 2:4-12

A pattern begins in 4:1 with a child’s name being the words, or similar to the words, spoken by the mother after the birth of the child. Cain means “gotten,” and Eve said, “I have gotten a man child from the Lord.” This occurs often throughout Scripture. Hopefully your text has footnotes which show this.

The acceptance by God of Abel’s offering and rejection of Cain’s offering does NOT indicate that one offering was better than the other. The issue is tied up in the giver’s attitude (4:7).

In 4:9 when asked where his brother is, Cain claims ignorance but asks, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This question is not answered here by God. How would you answer it? Four generations later one of Cain’s descendants is a murderer and a braggart (4:23-24).

The fact that Adam was 130 when Seth was born does not mean that there were no other children born between Abel and Seth. In fact there were probably many–and the answer to where did Cain get his wife is that she was his sister. In the genealogies to come, it is not always the first-born whose birth is noted and father’s age given, but as with Seth, the one through whom the genealogy is marked. In many cases (most in these chapters) the named son was one of many, but his line is marked because of the importance of his posterity.

Although Noah’s father (Lamech) died at the time Noah was called to build the ark, his grandfather (Methuselah, the oldest man to live) died in the flood. You’ll have to do the math (5:25-32; 7:11-12).

The telling of the sons of God taking daughters of men for their wives merely points out that godly men took wives whose fathers were ungodly. Hence the sinfulness of all mankind and God’s resolve to destroy them.

Psalm 2 is a Messianic psalm, i.e., it is about Christ. Even though David himself might not have intended it as such, God did.

Jan 1 Gen 1:1-3:24; Psa 1:1-2:3

Notice first of all that “at” the beginning (the beginning of time, space, matter, of all that is) God. He is without beginning or end. He exists. He created all that is simply by speaking it into existence. Since we are created in His image (1:26, 27), this should remind us that our words are important. Neither we nor our words are to be foolish. Speech also sets us apart from the rest of creation.

“There was evening and there was morning [each] day” (1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). These were not long periods of time unlike our twenty-four hour days, but were the same. God could have created all in an instant, but He chose to set a pattern for us; work six days and rest the seventh. Each created thing was made according to its “kind” (1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25). God’s creation in not chaotic, it is order with purpose.

At 1:28 we are given our “cultural mandate” to be fruitful and multiply and take dominion over every other aspect of creation. This is an order from God and it has not been rescinded! Each day God saw that it was good. But after the creation of man God looked at His creation and saw that it was very good (1:31).

Chapter 2 informs us that God sanctified the seventh day and blessed it and taught man to rest that day (and acknowledge Him). And it recaps the account of chapter one along with additional information.

Only one tree in the entire garden was off limits, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life was NOT off limits, but mankind chose to eat from the former instead of the latter (see 3:22-24).

Just as God named things He had created (1:5), at 2:20 He had the man name the creatures (our reflecting the image of God), even woman who was created to be his helper (2:20, 23). The two shall become one (2:24).

Notice how Eve begins to reinterpret what God said by adding “touch” when speaking to Satan/the serpent (2:17; 3:3). As Jesus said (John 8:44) Satan is the father of lies and he proves it here (3:4-5). Adam’s sin was not only in eating the forbidden fruit in direct violation of God’s command (3:6) but in not exercising his role as head of the family and ordering his wife not to talk to the serpent, nor to eat of the forbidden fruit (3:17). Each person tried to “pass the buck,” Adam blaming “the woman whom YOU gave to me,” and Eve blaming the serpent. God them pronounced judgment (cursed them) in reverse order, the serpent, Eve, and Adam.

The Blessed One is he who rejects the false teaching of man and follows his Creator (Psalm 1).

Daily Bible Reading for 2011!

First of all, Congratulations to all of you who completed a reading of the Bible in the past six months (with one free day)!

Beginning tomorrow we will read through again but at a much slower pace. And Jake and Kristina get a break on not having to post a summary of each day’s reading. I will be making comments on each day’s reading. We are also hoping that there will be more dialogue (kind of like there was the first couple months this past year!). You are welcome to post your questions and comments.

Day 50: 2 Kings 11-17

The wicked mother of King Ahaziah, Athaliah (liah, liah!!) killed all the king’s sons and had herself set up as queen of the kingdom, or is that queendom?!

There was one small problem. Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister to Ahaziah saved Joash and kept him hidden from the wicked queen. This woman’s husband was the chief priest, Jehoiada. After seven years Jehoiada let the temple guards in on the secret and they had the young child crowned king. Of course the wicked Athaliah screamed that it was treason but she was summarily executed.

As long as Jehoiada was alive his positive influence over Joash kept the king on the proper path. Note that Joash is also known as Jehoash. Under his reign the house of Baal was destroyed. But the high places were still left.

He ordered the temple to be repaired, but those in charge drug their feet. Apparently they had been “using” the money in other ways. So he ordered the priests that the money coming in for repaira WOULD be used for repairs.

Hazael, King of Aram got to conquering areas and Jehoash fearing he was next took the riches that his anscestors had saved up for God and gave it to the King of Aram for protection. King Jehoash was slain by his own servants.

A little over half way through the reign of Jehoash in Judah, Jehu’s son Jehoahaz began to reign in Samaria the capitol of Israel, the northern kingdom. He too was an evil king. “They did not depart from the sins of Jeroboam.”

Jehoahaz was succeeded by his son Jehoash (two at the same time with the same name, pay attention, that’s why the list surnames!). And he too, surprise!, did evil. He then was succeeded by his son Jeroboam. Hmm. Named perhaps after the first evil king who made the golden calves . . . suppose he too was evil?

Elisha leaves the scene, and the earth. A miracle is recorded after his death that shows the power God had bestowed upon him.

Joash of Judah was succeeded by his son Amaziah “and he did uprightly in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David his father.” He slew those who had conspired against his father. He fought Israel, and “was put to the worse.” All the gold and silver found in the house of the Lord was again plundered. He was followed by his son Azariah, at the age of sixteen who reigned fifty-two years uprightly like his father.

Jeroboam of Israel was followed by his son Zechariah, who was evil and only reigned six months. This fulfilled the prophecy to Jehu that his sons would sit on the throne until the fourth generation. Shallum the son of Jabesh followed him. He was followed by Menahem. Meanwhile in Judah, Uzziah became king, and back in Israel Menahem was followed by his son Pekahiah, who was evil, aka Pekah.

Uzziah was followed by his son Jotham. He too did uprightly, but the high places remained. He was succeeded by his son Ahaz. He did NOT walk uprightly for sixteen years but acted like the kings of Israel. So God sent the King of Assyria against him. He too emptied the coffers to buy off this foreign threat rather than turn to God.

Ahaz went to Damascus and his heart was drawn away after the worship of the foreign gods and he had a replica altar made to be placed in the house of God. He was followed by his son Hezekaih.

In Israel Hosheah the son of Elah begain to reign. He tried to buy off Egypt as opposed to Assyria, but to no avail. Even though they had “secretly done things against God” he knew it and punished them. God still sent prophets to turn them back. So they (Israel) were sent into exile and their land taken over by foreigners who were taught how to serve God . . . but also continued to serve their false gods.

Day 37: 1 Samuel 1-7

Samuel is the last of the Judges and righteously leads the people as priest and prophet until the time of the kings. His mother was barren until God intervened, showing His choice of this one to serve in a special way. She dedicates him to the service of God for life and is blessed with several other children. But even with a strong leader Israel is not always strong in God and they lose the Ark of the Covenant in battle-signifying not only God’s great displeasure with them, but that His presence (power) is not with them. But neither can the enemy Philistines stand the presence of God Almighty and they and their god Dagon (fish) are plagued for their idolatrous practices in His presence. They consult with prophets who come up with an ingenious plan to see if God really is bringing all this nastiness upon them, and if so how to placate Him. As a result they return the Ark to God’s people. Some of the Israelites cannot contain their curiosity to look into things which God has forbidden them (Deut 29:29) and are struck down for their irreverence. Samuel continues to lead faithfully

Day 36: Judges 19-Ruth

This first chapter reminds me of the incident with Lot and the angels/messengers in Genesis.  The sin of these Benjamites is never really labeled.  But the fact that the wife was just given to the gang who showed up makes one wonder. Then the dead body is chopped up and sent to each of the twelve tribes.  Shiboleth is used when Benjamin stands up for its own, right or WRONG. There are a number of sins commited in this passage–what are the primary ones? 

Ruth is one of only two books named after women. It is a love story, and as most love stories, intricate. The quotes from Ruth often used at weddings (1:17) were applied though to her mother-in-law. There is a variant reading in the Hebrew text that is usually never even footnoted in our English texts. In the Hebrew text at 4:5 the there is note that the pointing (vowels, which were not originally written in) SHOULD read differently than what is printed (this happens a bit in the Hebrew). But most translators stick with what is written (instead of what should be read). The difference is that Boaz says to the kinsman that the day you buy the land, know that “I will” (not you must) acquire Ruth as wife.

There is a lot that can be “read between the lines” in this book.  So much to teach us.

Day 35: Judges 13-18

The first four chapters of today’s reading deal with the birth, life and death of Samson. On the surface this story seems to be every boy’s dream: being the strongest one around. But Samson was sworn by God (not his parents!) before his birth that he would be a Nazarite (13:5; 16:17). In his lifetime he breaks every vow of the Nazarite (Numbers 6:2-12[21]). Although he is sinful his life is a type (or at least an anti-type) of Christ. Note the parallels as you read.

The last two chapters of our reading are somewhat haunting-for the sinfulness herein: theft from mother, mother having an idol made after return of stolen silver, priest and idol stolen by an entire tribe. “There was no king in Israel in those days, every man did what was right in his own eyes.” In other words, humanism reigned in all its evil forms.

Day 34: Judges 5-12

We continue with the account of Deborah. Chapter 5 has some sexual connotations if you read carefully. Chapter six continues the cycle of Israel’s disobedience when they don’t have a strong ruler, followed by oppression, followed by God raising up a leader (judge) for them. Gideon asks for a sign . . . and after testing God is in turn tested. He has a great victory, then is challenged by his own people. He ends up causing worship problems for the people. Abimelech judges and dies at the hands of a woman. The cycle of wickedness is repeated. Jephthah leads and makes a foolish vow.