Wednesday 22 May, 2019

Genesis 9:1-11

9 Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 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. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. 4 “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5 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. 6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind. 7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

This first recorded covenant is extraordinary in so many ways.

Having restored his world after the disastrous destruction brought on it by sin, God begins with a blessing like the one that he first spoke over his creation in Genesis 1:22, 28. He again gives fruitfulness. He again gives us all plants as food. He extends this gift to include animals, but pairs it with a gift to the animals of fear of people. Like all his covenants, he gives far more than he asks.

It’s extraordinary for its breadth: it’s not just a covenant with Noah and his family – it covers all living things. All God’s covenants include the whole world but work through particular groups of people, including you and me. All living things are placed “into Noah’s hand” (translated here as “control”). This is a phrase that is used elsewhere to describe God’s care for his creation as well as his authority over it. We are given an extraordinary role caring for God’s world together with him.

Yet it also reaffirms our unique place in God’s world: uniquely made in God’s image. The word translated here as “likeness” also has includes his intention that we should represent him to his world. All the life he gives is to be respected, but God himself holds all living things accountable for the life he gives us.

Father, it’s so extraordinary that you establish relationship with us. It’s so extraordinary, Jesus, that you gave your life to save ours. It’s so extraordinary that you give us the role of working with you to care for your world, and to speak for you into your world.

Written by David Cornell

Want to join the discussion?

Tuesday 21 May, 2019

Genesis 8:20-22

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.”

When was the last time you stopped and gave significant thanks to God for all He has done? So often we cry out to God in the middle of a crisis or drama, but when it’s over it’s often a sigh of relief rather than heartfelt thanks that is directed to God. Noah and his family had just survived the most serious crisis to face the earth. They could have been angry at God for the loss of all their friends and family, but instead they gave thanks and worship towards their Heavenly Father.

I am challenged to bring greater thankfulness into my life. Thanks to God that He is good, thanks that He never leaves or forsakes me, thanks that he sent his son to die for me, thanks that he walks every challenge with me. God responded to Noah’s act with kindness – I want inspire the kindness of God as well.

Heavenly Father thank you for all you have done for me. Thank you God for all you have done for mankind. I praise your Greatness and your mercy. In Jesus Name Amen.

Written by Christine Knight

Want to join the discussion?

Monday 20 May, 2019

Genesis 8:1-19

8 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. 2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, 4 and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 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. 6 After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 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. 15 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.

“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark.”

Have you ever thought God has forgotten you?  You have prayed for days, weeks, months even years for a particular change in circumstances, perhaps for your healing, or a relationship or financial freedom.  Let me assure you, you’re not alone in feeling like you are forgotten.

In our digital age, when everything must happen in the instant and to our satisfaction, we can get impatient, insistent with God and try to take things into our own hands.  Alternately we become passive, not active in our believing for God to actually breakthrough undermining our prayerfulness and faith.

We read here that God ‘remembered’ Noah and the animals.  Clearly, God was aware of what was happening for Noah, the earth and the animals.  But a process of time needed to be completed.  This passing of time can be the difficult to navigate as we so often do not know what is happening, which may be as natural a process as was happening here with the flood.  But we should not think God has forgotten us.  He has not forgotten us, He is awaiting the opportune time.

Father, help me to be expectantly patient, full of faith in the waits that I am currently experiencing prior to the deliverance You alone can bring.

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

Want to join the discussion?

Sunday 19 May, 2019

Genesis 7:11-24

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. 12 And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. 13 On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. 14 They had with them every wild animal according to its kind, all livestock according to their kinds, every creature that moves along the ground according to its kind and every bird according to its kind, everything with wings. 15 Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. 17 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. 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.

What a fascinating part of the story. Noah was 600 years old, that’s 600 years of life being a certain predictable way, and now everything is about to change. The flood was not a gradual trickle, but it began on one pivotal day. Yes, God had warned Noah in advance to build the ark, but one day he lived on the earth, and the next day he abandoned the life he had known for 600 years and boarded an ark, not knowing exactly what the future would hold.

What was it like for Noah and his relatives? Was the noise of the rain and waters rising frightening? What was it like seeing everything you’d known disappear under water? Did they wonder what life ahead would look like? Or did Noah just trust God, trust in His goodness and protection and take one day at a time? Despite the chaos around them, did they look at the ark and feel the solidity of the timber around them and trust that the God who had gone to the effort of directing them to build an ark, would continue to take care of them?

It also amazes me that they would have had no idea that their story would be shared by billions of people, and be a source of encouragement for thousands of years… the God of the Universe was not only working with them, but was working through them.

Thank you God that you are the same God who delivered Noah from the flood. You will take care of me, and I can trust you. I can trust in your ability to protect me and your bigger picture purpose as well, of which I may never fully comprehend in this life. Holy Spirit, please help me to trust in your greatness, your love, your faithfulness and your goodness. Amen.

Written by Ps. Bethany Waugh

Want to join the discussion?

Saturday 18 May, 2019

Genesis 7:1-10

7 The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 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, 3 and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. 4 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.” 5 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him. 6 Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. 7 And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, 9 male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.

For those of us who grew up going to church, the story of Noah is so very familiar. Trying to read it with fresh eyes, I can see how this narrative may seem hard to believe for some.

But at its heart, Noah’s story is a picture of faith. In Hebrews 11:7 we read,

“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.”

The verse in Hebrews 11:6, just prior to this, tells us that “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him”.

We walk by faith and not by sight. If I try to base my life on what I can see and understand, I will be severely hampered by my own limited abilities to see.

Faith in God has guided my life for as long as I can remember. Of course I do not have all of the answers to life’s big questions (and many of the small ones for that matter), but faith in God has given me a solid foundation, deep meaning and purpose and hope for the future.

The benefits of faith have been immense and far too many to recount here, but I can absolutely testify of the rewards of a life of seeking God, and I am so very grateful.

Written by Shelley Witt

Want to join the discussion?

Friday 17 May, 2019

Genesis 6:11-22

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 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. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. 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. 18 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.

This passage begins by telling us how God saw the earth – it had become corrupt. Because everyone on earth was corrupt, God was going to wipe out everyone, except for Noah and his family. But here is the catch, God’s plan to start again was radical. He told Noah to build a boat because he was going to cover the earth with a flood. Noah may have seen boats before, we don’t know. But there had never been a flood, there had never even been rain.

What was Noah’s response to this plan? V22 tells us that Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Complete obedience. Not partial, not mostly, not similar but complete obedience.

Our times are not too different to the times of Noah, corruption and violence everywhere. God’s plan for our lives, may not be as radical as building a boat, but it is to live according to God’s way. It’s easy to compromise, to not be complete in our obedience to God. But when surrounded by corruption, does complete obedience really matter? Yes, it does. There is only one plan, only one salvation, only one way to live as God tells us too.

Noah’s complete obedience saved not only himself, but his whole family, and from this the whole world. We benefit from Noah’s obedience to God’s command. When I obey God completely, there is a benefit not only to me, but it also extends, not just to my family, but those around me. I don’t always get it right, but by God’s work within me I am trusting him more and more.

Father, I thank you for the pattern of obedience that has been set by people around me. Help me to completely obey you as well.

Written by Andrew Martin

Want to join the discussion?

Thursday 16 May, 2019

Genesis 6:5-10

5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. 9 This is the account of Noah and his family. 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.

How interesting that Noah was the only human on the earth that God was pleased with. I can understand how God could look at the world then (and now) and be so grieved by the capacity humans have for cruelty, manipulation & selfishness. Yet what was it about Noah that made him stand out? There’s no way he was sinless – his humanity would have discounted him from perfection for sure. However verses 8-9 tell us that Noah indeed found favour and that he walked faithfully with God.

The idea of favour from God is based on His unmerited grace, which Noah received because he was faithful to God in the day to day. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Noah to stay on a godly path when everyone else around him was not living righteously, yet he chose to live a life that was pleasing to God.

How important faithfulness is to God; it was the redeeming factor that saved Noah, and in the same way it is what God is searching for in you and I as He looks upon us. He knows we will never achieve perfection aside from through salvation in Christ. Yet He seeks for us to live in a way that honours Him in the choices we make.

God, help me to have the same faithfulness to you that Noah had. Help me to cling to who you are and to how you want me to live, despite what the world around me may look like. Thank you for your continual unmerited grace. Amen.

Written by Ps Madelaine Tarasenko

Want to join the discussion?

Wednesday 15 May, 2019

Genesis 6:1-4

6 When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Is the bible really true? Is it infallible? Is it really God’s word?

Occasionally, I get the honour and the privilege to have an open conversation with someone who is a biblical skeptic. People have all sorts of reasons not to believe in God, but one of the reasons that some people choose not to follow Christ is because they find a problems with the Bible.

My observation is that if someone has a problem with one part of scripture, this causes them to call into question all of scripture. Since The Bible is a foundation of Christian faith, if they can’t believe what the Bible says, they will refuse to believe in God.

Today’s passage is one that contains a narrative that is quite challenging to understand, and also elements that are hard to grapple with if you see the Bible as a factual-historical text.

For me, I enjoy the challenge that these sections of the Bible bring. When I read this passage, I am motivated to seek God and to understand what was going on at the time of the Nephilim? Who were the sons of God? What is God saying to me about my life and my family and my church through this passage?

Lord, thanks for your Word, with its intricacies and complexities. Lord I trust in your word, and I recognise all the evidence that supports that it is reliable and true, even though there are many passages like this one that don’t line up with the anthropological history of humankind in the Bible. Lord help me to be motivated to always seek to reconcile science and history with faith, but also bring me peace in the tension, and keep me motivated by love for other people.

Written by Ps Justin Ware

[comments closed]

Tuesday 14 May, 2019

Genesis 5:25-32

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died. 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah[a] and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.” 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died. 32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Have you ever wondered about your family genealogy? Wondered what your distant relatives were like? Wondered how they lived and what life might have been like for them?

Well this passage is an old genealogy where we get a glimpse of life for Lamech. We hear his prayer and the naming of his son Noah.  Lamech chose this name as “Noah” sounded like the word for relief or comfort. Lamech had plans for Noah: he needed a son to help with their hard work of farming.

However, while Lamech had a purpose in having a son, God’s plans and purposes for Noah were much broader. In the coming passages, we see that God had a bigger purpose for “relief” (salvation?) through Noah’s life.

As I read this passage, I am reminded that God’s plans and purposes for my life go way beyond what I see or imagine and that my life plays a part in God’s great story. I am reminded that I am created on purpose which goes way beyond my plan, my parents plan, and even the enemy’s plan. God’s plan for me is beyond the here and now, and beyond what I can see.

I wonder how many of my prayers are small and limited to my immediate situation?

Father, help me to live beyond the realm of here and now, beyond my situation and to trust Your plans and purposes instead. May I not try to make You fit into my life, but remember that I play a part in Your plans and purposes.

Written by Gab Martin

[comments closed]

Monday 13 May, 2019

Genesis 5:1-24

5 This is the written account of Adam’s family line. When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died. 6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father of Enosh. 7 After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died. 9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died. 12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 After he became the father of Mahalalel, Kenan lived 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Altogether, Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died. 15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he became the father of Jared. 16 After he became the father of Jared, Mahalalel lived 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Altogether, Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died. 18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died. 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

What does “walking with God faithfully” look like I wonder? What was it about Enoch that so captured God’s attention?

I don’t have a definitive answer… but one word stands (or part of one word) – faith. It was HOW he walked with God. FAITHfully. God loves faith. He loves it! I can’t please Him without it (See Hebrews 11:6). Jesus was blown away when people displayed it (see Luke 7:9). He loves it when I say “I don’t understand but I KNOW God is good – He won’t let me down!” I wonder if Enoch, like no other, trusted God and refused to entertain any other thought. His God is real. His God loves him. His God will not fail him. His God was his closest friend. No wonder God took him!

Father God, please help me walk faithfully with you like Enoch did. And to trust you no matter what.   Amen

Written by Boudy VanNoppen

[comments closed]