The Rainbow–Genesis 9 part 2

The Rainbow, no matter what the world says, is the ongoing reminder that God is in charge and he loves us.  The symbol is used for all reasons and causes, but at its core, it is the creator’s promise that he will no longer destroy the creation in its entirety.  The temptation has continued throughout history—as a race, we as people have been, are and will be self-centered, mean and evil at our core.  But within that same core is the initial design that set us apart from the rest—God’s image

 

So, as his kids,  formed in his image we still get to choose to turn from the base evil core and claim his promise.  We can be restored by simply following him and trusting him.  Then each viewing of a rainbow has its overwhelming warmth that reminds us his grace is all that stands between us and our destruction.  That Grace along with his sacrifice is the greatest gift will ever receive.  I am truly thankful for it—I am also thankful for each oof you that keep me accountable to remain in his word! Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

God Bless You

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

17 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

New Start, New Rule–Genesis 9 Part 1

God started everything over.  This time men were not just a part of the landscape and the caretakers, no, this time men were to have dominion over everything.  It is a significant change.  Prior to the flood, the recognition that God ruled over all life and men were simply one among many forms caused men and animals to work, live and communicate.  Now animals were to fear and dread men.  They were no longer able to communicate and saw men (and rightly so) as the enemy.  Still God made clear men were accountable for their treatment of each other and of other life on the planet. 

So the idea that we are to be vegetarians is not scriptural, but we are to be good stewards in how we treat each other and even how we treat wildlife.  Funny thing, though, It was not, is not nor never will God’s intention that we treat animals better than each other. The thought that people would be more upset at the death of a pet or animal than a person is sad.  But, our enemy wants us to always make human life unimportant. If we are on track, we will value all life.  We would be responsible in how we treat others and harvest wildlife.  It is a crazy notion, but good stewardship pervades all aspects of our lives.

God Bless You

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

“Whoever sheds human blood,
    by humans shall their blood be shed;
for in the image of God
    has God made mankind.

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

 

The First Covenant–Genesis 8 Final

Like most parents, God hated punishing his creations.  The flood was very necessary but also very heart rending for God.  When it was done, the earth again dry, God released Noah and his family, back on to it for a new start. That being said, God made a decision that would be the first Covenant with men–No more world ending floods.  God came to the realization that men were born evil and would be evil from childhood. Killing everything would not change that.

As hopeless as that realization is, Equally promising is the gift of salvation that comes from knowing Christ Jesus as Lord.  See, God realized, we were not fixable–but we were restorable! He sent Jesus to save us and restore us to fellowship with him.  He did not need to keep destroying us, he needed to restore the relationship between us!

In Christ we are once again one with God. He accepts us as we are and restores us to what we were created to be.  What a gift, What a covenant.  Thanks, Lord for restoring the bond between us and You!

God Bless You

Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.”

18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

22 “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease

 

 

One Year and Ten Days–Genesis 8 Part 1

What a lonely feeling it must have been for the passengers of God’s Ark.  We have all seen the pictures of the happy animals sticking their head out of the boat.  But, the reality is that Noah and his family managed a giant menagerie of all the surface wildlife that would be on earth.   What is more, that job was not simply babysitting for a few days–they were on that boat for 1 year and 10 days.  In addition, beneath them were the bodies of all the creatures that had come before.  Noah and his family had to have felt fear, guilt and confusion as they floated on the sea that had risen some 75 feet above the highest mountains on earth.

By the time it was safe again to leave the Ark, Noah and his family had to have grasped that they were the new beginning.  God set them down in a safe place.  He set them free to start again, but, he realized that there were no more restarts.  All that left the boat were clear that God was powerful.  All that left that boat knew that they owed their lives to God and to Noah’s faith. One year and ten days of reflection should have changed these folks hearts and gave them the faith they needed to trust and follow God! But, did it???

God Bless You

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.

13 By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

Wiped Out–Genesis 7 Final

This year’s attention to the Ebola  has caused us to examine procedures all over the world to eliminate the virus. The ability to control it has been questioned and eradication has been determined to be the only way to save the world from Pandemic.  That is what God faced at the time of Noah.  Men had become so evil that God needed to eradicate evil completely. The attempt to control sin and men became futile.  There disregard for God was celebrated. As Noah, his family and a collection of animals from all over the world rested on the Ark, God wiped out every living thing left on earth.

There really is a tipping point.  There comes a time when the independence from God and worship of the created over the creator becomes the law of the land. We see it in Genesis, Judges, Isaiah an Romans. We are also seeing it in the world today.  Millions of dollars are spent annually to attempt to eradicate God from all things that are public. Conversely, Billions are spent to worship self, stuff and sex.  The World has once again moved to the point where God is not welcome. 

We need to take a stand–we can follow the Lord.  We can pray, follow the Lord and train our kids to love God.  If we do, God is always willing to forgive and restore.  Once again, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, says, “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We can make the difference, but we have to affirmatively choose to Worship God and God Alone!!! Join me, will you?

God Bless You

For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.[a][b] 21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind. 22 Everything on dry land that had the breath of life in its nostrils died. 23 Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

24 The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.

The Importance of Being Godly–Genesis 7 Part 1

The time had come for God to wipe the slate clean.  120 years had passed since God gave the word for Noah to build the Ark.  It was as large as a football field and three stories high. Now as the pairs of animals filed in, Noah knew he was going to see the end of the chaotic world he had known.  Once they entered the ark, God waited an additional week to begin the destruction.  Noah and his family must have felt grave concern by the sixth day.  Were they missing something?  Had they misunderstood God? They were probably feeling pretty silly right up until the moment the waters exploded from everywhere.

So many times in our own lives we hold out faith for God to work his plan.  We think we understand his timing.  We think we have followed his commands.  Then time simply passes without any change.  Oh, there might be little answers to prayers and sufficient needs met, but still, the big answer, the big change still has not yet happened.  We wait, we grow concerned and we begin to wonder if God spoke clearly or if we were listening.  In the end, God completes his plan.  As we follow, he shows himself trustworthy–he provides and protects his own and he brings order to the Chaos.  If we are willing– he will use us, train us and bless us simply because we trust him. The world will think us odd but what the world thinks is of little matter.

God Bless You

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

Genesis 6 Part 3–The Covenent

As Despicable as the world had become, God was not willing to give up on men.  He treated Noah and his family with individual love and respect. He saw that they were different and knew that they would continue to follow him.  That was all God desired and wanted. Noah also had the days ahead to speak the truth in love to those around and attempt to bring them back.

We have the same chance today.  Despite the world’s current state of Chaos, God still treats us individually as well as a family.  That is why our individual devotion is as important to him as that of the church and our nation.  We have to follow him with the love and respect he deserves and tell others of the life they can have with Christ as Lord.  God never gives up, but he is also keenly aware of the current evil state of our world and will not continue to let it stand.  Let’s be different and lead others to do the same.

God Bless You

But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. 19 You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive. 21 You are to take every kind of food that is to be eaten and store it away as food for you and for them.”

22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him

 

Noah was Blamless–Genesis 6 part 2

In the midst of what could only be called utter chaos and evil, Noah and his family remained blameless.  It was due in Large part to the influence of the generations that came before Noah–Enoch, Methuselah and Lamech.  But it was also because Noah still loved the Lord and trained his family to do the same.  So God, seeing that there was still hope among men, (although very little) decided to spare us as a race.  When one considers the gravity of that choice, it warms your heart to know the difference one man’s personal choice to trust God can make.

In our current lives, there is so much animosity toward God and the Church. In foreign affairs, the ISIS war, in the courts–Gay Marriage and public education. In the media, the rise of all sin and the minimization of God’s influence all remind us of the time of Noah.  But, the hope that our personal choice could save us as a country and our children for the future is as real as Noah.  We can be Different! We can make a difference! We must trust and follow God!

God Bless You 

Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark of cypress[c] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.[d] 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit[e] high all around.[f] Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.

When Men “Out Eviled” God’s Goodness–Genesis 6 Part 1

Who would have thought it possible, men became so evil that God had to say–ENOUGH! It wasn’t just the little things, it became so pronounced,that just when God thought he had seen evil at its lowest, men found ways to take it down another level. Scripture sums it up with 4 words, “It Broke God’s Heart”! So God knew it was time to do something about it.

Fast forward to today, 2014—We celebrate evil in every form.  We should have clued in when over half of television became reality TV! “You Can’t Make This Stuff UP!!!” We have again sunken to a level of base evil that rivals that of Genesis 6. It is safe to assume that we have again broken the heart of our Heavenly Father. If we could simply learn from the past, we would fall on our knees and beg for God’s forgiveness and turn our culture away from this wretched depth of sin.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God promises, “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways and pray—then I will hear their prayers, forgive their sin and heal their land!” Like any Father, God holds out hope that we will return like the prodigal son—if we do, he will forgive like the Prodigal Dad! Please join me in prayer and humble repentance!

God Bless You

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with[b] humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.”

In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

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. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.

A Marked Difference–Genesis 5 Part 2

Two Amazing things about Seth’s lineage were longevity and distinction.  When you think about it, Seth was able to talk about the things he learned from his Dad to Methuselah.  I am sure the oral tradition of the growth of men on the earth did not seem far away since most of those at the beginning were able to see it happen. It must have been amazing for Lamech and Noah to hear all the things from the beginning as told by Enosh, or Enoch. 

The other amazing thing would have been to see men grow more independent from God–With God still being so close.  It had to be heart breaking to watch relatives grow more and more evil around you, while you enjoyed the peace of simply following him.  Seth’s line continued to be set apart because they believed and worshiped God.

It is the same today.  We are set apart because, despite what the world has to say, we continue to believe what God says and do what he commands.  As we do, we enjoy peace and order in the midst of life’s chaos.  The world perceives the difference as strange and condemns us for it–as they did back in The days of Methuselah, Lamech and Noah.  But, God rewards our distinction with eternal life and a full and meaningful journey on earth.  It is a great Life when we are distinct from the world as we know it.

God Bless You

 When Jared was 162 years old, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After the birth of Enoch, Jared lived another 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 20 Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.

21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 Enoch lived 365 years, 24 walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.

25 When Methuselah was 187 years old, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After the birth of Lamech, Methuselah lived another 782 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 27 Methuselah lived 969 years, and then he died.

28 When Lamech was 182 years old, he became the father of a son. 29 Lamech named his son Noah, for he said, “May he bring us relief[d] from our work and the painful labor of farming this ground that the Lord has cursed.” 30 After the birth of Noah, Lamech lived another 595 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 31 Lamech lived 777 years, and then he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth