Wednesday 30 September, 2015

Genesis 8:20-22

20 Then Noah built an altar to honor the Lord. He took some of the “clean” animals and birds. He sacrificed them on the altar as burnt offerings. 21 The smell of the offerings pleased the Lord. He said to himself, “I will never put a curse on the ground again because of human beings. I will not do it even though their hearts are always directed toward evil. Their thoughts are evil from the time they are young. I will never destroy all living things again, as I have just done. 22 “As long as the earth lasts, there will always be a time to plant and a time to gather the crops. As long as the earth lasts, there will always be cold and heat. There will always be summer and winter, day and night.”

Finally the ark is on dry ground, the ground is beginning to be fruitful again and so it is time for Noah, his family and the animals to reinhabit the earth.  Noah’s first action is one of worship, a fitting and proper response to all God has done and His deliverance for Noah and his family.  God had been gracious to Noah and his family.  He had protected them, provided for them and now we see the measure of the man.  He turns in worship, he turns in honour of God.

It is fitting and proper.  What is the nature of my response to God when He has been at work in my life?  When I see the Lord at work, is my first response worship?  In the little things and the large?  Is my heart truly inclined to the Lord or am I so distracted, so hurried, so self focussed that I move on quickly not stopping to worship the Lord?  It is proper to worship the Lord – He has made all things, He provides, protects, enables and empowers.  My response to Him needs to be from a full heart of love and honour to Him in each and every situation of life.

Father help me to have an altar of worship where I come frequently, regularly, daily, momentarily in worship and prose of You!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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Tuesday 29 September, 2015

Genesis 8:1-19

8 But God showed concern for Noah. He also showed concern for all the wild animals and livestock that were with Noah in the ark. So God sent a wind to sweep over the earth. And the waters began to go down. 2 The springs at the bottom of the oceans had been closed. The windows of the sky had also been closed. And the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water on the earth continued to go down. At the end of the 150 days the water had gone down. 4 On the 17th day of the seventh month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 The waters continued to go down until the tenth month. On the first day of that month, the tops of the mountains could be seen. 6 After 40 days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark. 7 He sent out a raven. It kept flying back and forth until the water on the earth had dried up. 8 Then Noah sent out a dove. He wanted to see if the water on the surface of the ground had gone down. 9 But the dove couldn’t find any place to rest. Water still covered the whole surface of the earth. So the dove returned to Noah in the ark. Noah reached out his hand and took the dove in. He brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days. Then he sent out the dove again from the ark. 11 In the evening the dove returned to him. There in its beak was a freshly picked olive leaf! So Noah knew that the water on the earth had gone down. 12 He waited seven more days. Then he sent out the dove again. But this time it didn’t return to him. 13 It was the first day of the first month of Noah’s 601st year. The water on the earth had dried up. Then Noah removed the covering from the ark. He saw that the surface of the ground was dry. 14 By the 27th day of the second month the earth was completely dry. 15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Come out of the ark. Bring your wife and your sons and their wives with you. 17 Bring out every kind of living thing that is with you. Bring the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground. Then they can multiply on the earth. They can have little ones and the number of them can increase.” 18 So Noah came out of the ark. His sons and his wife and his sons’ wives were with him. 19 All the animals came out of the ark. The creatures that move along the ground also came out. So did all the birds. Everything that moves on land came out of the ark, one kind after another.

Noah was in the ark with an enormous number of animals for 7½ months before they opened a window. I’m guessing the fresh air was welcome.

The ark had been grounded after 5 months but 7½ months later they were still in the ark with all those animals. I’d have been willing to get my feet a bit muddy to get off. But they waited until God said it was time to come out – more than a year after they went in.

Sometimes God doesn’t seem to share my sense of urgency.

The story is about rescuing Noah and his family, but it’s also a picture of Jesus rescuing me (1 Peter 3:19-21). Sometimes he seems far too patient about rescuing people I’m praying for. But sometimes it requires an enormous amount of patience before we are willing to accept that rescue.

Noah had some experience of God’s timing. God told him to build an enormous ark at just the right time so it would be finished before the flood came. God told him to take his family and the animals into the ark at just the right time to be safe. For seven days after they went in, nothing happened. But Noah knew it was the right time, and it was. Noah knew to wait until God said it was the right time to come out.

Father, your timing is the right timing. Give me the faith of Noah to act when you say, but also to wait for your right time. I know you won’t get it wrong.

Written by David Cornell

3 replies
  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Thanks David, Noah is a great example of sticking his neck out in faith, and needing to wait for God’s vindication and deliverance. But God always vindicated and delivered.

  2. Andrew Martin says:

    Thanks David.
    You are so right about Gods sense of “urgency”.
    Thank you for this reminder. God’s timing is always best, even if I disagree with it, He won’t get it wrong.

  3. B says:

    Great words David. Thank you. I can imagine the pressure Noah felt from his family on day 6 before the rains came and nothing was happening. Yet Noah stayed firm trusting Gods timing. Lord teach us to be like that.

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Monday 28 September, 2015

Genesis 7:11-24

11 Noah was 600 years old. It was the 17th day of the second month of the year. On that day all of the springs at the bottom of the oceans burst open. God opened the windows of the sky. 12 Rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. 13 On that same day Noah entered the ark together with his sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. Noah’s wife and the wives of his three sons also entered it. 14 They had every kind of wild animal with them. They had every kind of livestock, creature that moves along the ground, and bird that flies. 15 Pairs of all living creatures that breathe came to Noah and entered the ark. 16 The animals going in were male and female of every living thing. Everything happened just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in. 17 For 40 days the flood kept coming on the earth. As the waters rose higher, they lifted the ark high above the earth. 18 The waters rose higher and higher on the earth. And the ark floated on the water. 19 The waters rose on the earth until all the high mountains under the entire sky were covered. 20 The waters continued to rise until they covered the mountains by more than 20 feet. 21 Every living thing that moved on land died. The birds, the livestock and the wild animals died. All of the creatures that fill the earth also died. And so did every human being. 22 Every breathing thing on dry land died. 23 Every living thing on earth was wiped out. People and animals were destroyed. The creatures that move along the ground and the birds in the sky were wiped out. Everything on earth was destroyed. Only Noah and those with him in the ark were left. 24 The waters flooded the earth for 150 days.

In this passage is a picture of both God’s justice, His abhorrence of evil and love of that which is good, and God’s mercy, providing an escape from judgment for those who acknowledge Him as Lord and worship Him. The world was a mess, many had no fear of God and did as they pleased, ignoring righteousness and embracing sin. God the Father watched as people rejected Him and treated what He had made – earth, creatures and other people – with total indifference, using and abusing for their own gain. God the just judge needed to put things to rights, for no one else could, but God’s mercy meant that He saw Noah and his righteousness, and provided an escape route for Noah such that he would survive this judgment. God provided the ark, God closed the door of the ark, and God saved Noah, his family and a host of creatures. In this dramatic story of God saving Noah the stage is set for the coming of Jesus.

Hundreds of years later the world is once again full of people rejecting God and His ways with destructive consequences. This time God pours out His judgment not on those that reject Him, but He pours out the entirety of His holy anger on Jesus, putting things to rights whilst at the same time providing an escape for all those who will put their faith in Jesus and acknowledge their need for a Saviour. How amazing that God is true to Himself, both His justice and His mercy, and is able to straddle both of those aspects of His nature, ensuring that in this universe we can trust that in the end justice shall prevail, and yet because of Jesus we don’t need to fear it because we have already been judged innocent.

Wow! God I am so thankful that you assure me that justice shall prevail and that every wrong I observe in the world and that I suffer will be dealt with fairly. I am so thankful that when you deal with me you do not sentence me to death as my wrongs deserve, but you grant me eternal life through Jesus. What a mind blowing reality, God help me to grasp that truth and to live each day in the freedom and hope of that truth. Amen!

Written by Beth Waugh

1 (reply)
  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Wow, I’ve never made the comparison between the wrath poured out in rain and the wrath poured out on Jesus, it’s such a powerful image of what Jesus willingly submitted and did, for the Father to reconcile us all to himself. What a wonderful sacrifice!

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Sunday 27 September, 2015

Genesis 7:1-10

7 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark with your whole family. I know that you are a godly man among the people of today. 2 Take seven pairs of every kind of ‘clean’ animal with you. Take a male and a female of each kind. Take one pair of every kind of animal that is not ‘clean.’ Take a male and a female of each kind. 3 Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird. Take a male and a female of each kind. Then every kind will be kept alive. They can spread out again over the whole earth. 4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth. It will rain for 40 days and 40 nights. I will destroy from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” 5 Noah did everything the Lord commanded him to do. 6 Noah was 600 years old when the flood came on the earth. 7 He and his sons entered the ark. His wife and his sons’ wives went with them. They entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. 8 Male and female pairs of “clean” animals and pairs of animals that were not “clean” came to Noah. So did male and female pairs of birds and of all the creatures that move along the ground. 9 All of them came to Noah and entered the ark. Everything happened just as God had commanded Noah. 10 After seven days the flood came on the earth.

The story of Noah is one that many people will be familiar with and I can remember growing up in an non-church family and hearing this story as an endearing mythical fable. As I grew up I remember hearing the factual nature of this story being dismissed though scientific presentation of data on fossil records and striated rock formations. I had a level of faith in God at that point in my life, but my faith in Science was stronger then, so I dismissed this story again and mythical fable.

More recently I revisited the notion of whether the story of Noah and the flood was factual and I realised that my faith in the Bible had exceeded my faith in science. I have read a number of apologetics materials that attempt to reconcile the bible with science and I can see the importance of doing this.

I am not fully able to reconcile the scientific and biblical perspective on how the who earth could have been flooded, or how 2 of all the animals in the world could have fitted on the boat, or how fossils are spread amongst a range of rock layers and not concentrated in one band of rock layers that represent the stage in history that the flood would have occurred. What I do know is that my God can do all things, that he can do exceedingly and abundantly more than I can imagine. I now know that God’s big story in the Bible is true while still holding on to the empirical evidence that science can provide.

Lord, help me to hold things in tension. Help me to see how your word fits into your world from a historical perspective, while building my faith in you

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

1 (reply)
  1. Linda Quinn says:

    Thanks Justin.
    As I read these verses today I am struck again by the Holiness of God. This account is a sober reminder to me of God’s sovereign authority. He has the right to act this way – because He is God. For me, the tension isn’t science and the bible – it is the tension of perfect holiness (righteous judgement) and perfect love (grace and mercy).
    Almighty God – You are holy and loving. Help me see You as Your Word reveals You – perfectly both.

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Saturday 26 September, 2015

Genesis 6:11-22

11 The earth was very sinful in God’s eyes. It was full of people who did mean and harmful things. 12 God saw how sinful the earth had become. All its people were living very sinful lives. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to everyone. They have filled the earth with their harmful acts. I am certainly going to destroy them and the earth. 14 So make yourself an ark out of cypress wood. Make rooms in it. Cover it with tar inside and out. 15 Here is how I want you to build it. The ark has to be 450 feet long. It has to be 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it. Leave below the roof an opening all the way around that is a foot and a half high. Put a door in one side of the ark. Make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring a flood on the earth. It will destroy all life under the sky. It will destroy every living creature that breathes. Everything on earth will die. 18 But I will make my covenant with you. You will go into the ark. Your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives will enter it with you. 19 Bring a male and a female of every living thing into the ark. They will be kept alive with you. 20 Two of every kind of bird will come to you. Two of every kind of animal will also come to you. And so will two of every kind of creature that moves along the ground. All of them will be kept alive with you. 21 Take every kind of food that you will need. Store it away as food for you and them.” 22 Noah did everything just as God commanded him.

As I read this very familiar story, the question came to mind, why didn’t God just destroy everything and start again? The God who spoke the world into existence had the power to create all of the animals and mankind once again and establish a complete fresh start. But He didn’t do it that way.

It seems to me that in this act of saving Noah, his family and the animals, God is revealing to us a part of His character as a redeemer of things that are broken. I’m so glad that God doesn’t just give up on us when we are broken and in need of His help.

I’m grateful and I’m humbled by this. It’s also a good reminder to me that if I want to reflect God’s character in my life, then I need to be one who doesn’t give up on others who are broken and imperfect (like me).

Written by Shelley Witt

1 (reply)
  1. Stephen Fell says:

    Thanks Shelley. I am challenged by v22 as well. Noah’s simple but profound response to such an enormous command. He did everything just as he was commanded to. This was a task that required massive effort, time, ridicule etc. This also humbles me.

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Friday 25 September, 2015

Genesis 6:5-10

5 The Lord saw how bad the sins of everyone on earth had become. They only thought about evil things. 6 The Lord was very sad that he had made human beings on the earth. His heart was filled with pain. 7 So the Lord said, “I created human beings, but I will wipe them out. I will also destroy the animals, the birds in the sky, and the creatures that move along the ground. I am very sad that I have made human beings.” 8 But the Lord was very pleased with Noah. 9 Here is the story of Noah’s family line. Noah was a godly man. He was without blame among the people of his time. He walked faithfully with God. 10 Noah had three sons. Their names were Shem, Ham and Japheth.

What I think about matters to God. He sees my thoughts and knows the truth of what’s going on in my head. David knew this (Ps139:2), so did Paul (Phil 4:8). Jesus did too (Luke 10:27)

I think it’s so amazing that the distinguishing characteristic of humanity in Noah’s day was…   “that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil” v5

What a terrible indictment. And God saw it! And it broke His heart v6.

I have to get this right. There is so much at stake if I don’t and so much to gain if I do. This is what Noah had learnt and as a result he “walked in close fellowship with God”.

Lord, please help me get this right. To relentlessly and ruthlessly capture and expel evil thoughts for the weeds that they are and cultivate, nurture and grow thoughts that please you. Oh that I might taste and see and experience the awe and wonder and joy and holy terror of “close fellowship” with You.     Amen

Written by Boudy van Noppen

1 (reply)
  1. Andrew Mellor says:

    Amen to pulling up the weeds. I think temptations are sure to bounce into our minds, but just as Jesus was tempted in every way, but without sin, so we can let the Holy Spirit play bouncer and get those thoughts outta there!!

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Thursday 24 September, 2015

Genesis 6:1-4

6 There began to be many human beings on the earth. And daughters were born to them. 2 The sons of God saw that the daughters of human beings were beautiful. So they married any of them they chose. 3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not struggle with human beings forever. They will have only 120 years to live.” 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days. That was when the sons of God went to the daughters of human beings. Children were born to them. The Nephilim were famous heroes who lived long ago. Nephilim were also on the earth later on.

There is some discussion about exactly what the 120 years refers to, but we will emphasize that whether verse 3 refers to life-span or to the period leading up to the great flood, it clearly refers to God’s relationship with man. The Message Bible reads: “Then God said, ”I am not going to breathe life into men and women endlessly. Eventually they are going to die; from now on they can expect a life-span of 120 years.”

These verses reveal three characteristics about God. [1] He is a patient God, [2] He is merciful and [3] He is compassionate. Man’s separation from God and His fellowship began when Adam and Eve disobeyed His command not to eat the fruit of the tree in the garden of Eden. In our passage, after 10 generations since Adam, the Lord placed a further restriction on mankind by reducing their life-span to 120 years. The key point here is that sin, corruption, and violence caused a greater separation between God and man. [see v.5]

The thing that impresses so much is the absolute patience of a loving Creator God. For mankind’s sake He moved in compassion to prevent mankind’s sin from destroying him. Deep in His heart the Lord knew that eventually through His Son Jesus His relationship with man would be restored completely.

Lord, I am inspired by your patience and faithfulness to offer my worship to you and to glorify your Name for your remarkable plan of salvation.

Written by Keith Bennett

1 (reply)
  1. Andrew Martin says:

    Thanks Keith,
    I am grateful again for the reminder that God doesn’t deal with me as I deserve, but he acts with patience, mercy and compassion.

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Wednesday 23 September , 2015

Genesis‬ ‭5:25-32‬

25 Methuselah lived 187 years. Then he became the father of Lamech. 26 Methuselah lived 782 years after Lamech was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 27 Methuselah lived a total of 969 years. And then he died. 28 Lamech lived 182 years. Then he had a son 29 and named him Noah. Lamech said, “He will comfort us when we are working. He’ll comfort us when our hands work so hard they hurt. We have to work hard because the Lord put a curse on the ground.” 30 Lamech lived 595 years after Noah was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 31 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.

On first look there is nothing I take personally out of this passage. But as I look again, Noah’s name is interesting – relief, comfort. Lamech was tired from his work. Family and friends are a gift to give us rest from our work. We need to relish our relationships otherwise our work will consume us with pain and frustration.

“Lord, you have made us for relationships. May we ‘work to live’ and do so with honour and as much joy as possible. But may we never ‘live to work’ lest we destroy our lives with pain and frustration. Amen”

Written by Andrew Mellor

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    The reality is long working hours and high stress employment does have an effect on a persons health, family and spiritual life. Australia is considered a particularly hardworking country and many of us face theses exact issues.
    .
    Thanks Andrew we would all do well to think carefully about what you have said.

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Tuesday 22 September, 2015

Genesis 5:1-24

5 Here is the written story of Adam’s family line. When God created human beings, he made them to be like him. 2 He created them as male and female, and he blessed them. He called them “human beings” when they were created. 3 When Adam was 130 years old, he had a son who was like him. He named him Seth. 4 Adam lived 800 years after Seth was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 5 Adam lived a total of 930 years. And then he died. 6 Seth lived 105 years. Then he became the father of Enosh. 7 Seth lived 807 years after Enosh was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 8 Seth lived a total of 912 years. And then he died. 9 Enosh lived 90 years. Then he became the father of Kenan. 10 Enosh lived 815 years after Kenan was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 11 Enosh lived a total of 905 years. And then he died. 12 Kenan lived 70 years. Then he became the father of Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived 840 years after Mahalalel was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 14 Kenan lived a total of 910 years. And then he died. 15 Mahalalel lived 65 years. Then he became the father of Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived 830 years after Jared was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 17 Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years. And then he died. 18 Jared lived 162 years. Then he became the father of Enoch. 19 Jared lived 800 years after Enoch was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 20 Jared lived a total of 962 years. And then he died. 21 Enoch lived 65 years. Then he became the father of Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years after Methuselah was born. He also had other sons and daughters. 23 Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God. And then he couldn’t be found, because God took him from this life.

I like genealogies, we often skip over them when we read the O.T. but they can be really interesting & the Holy Spirit has them here for a purpose. Verse 24 says that “Enoch walked with God”. Gen 3:8 tells us that God used to walk in the garden in the evening, it’s presumed Adam & Eve walked with Him since they hid themselves after they sinned.

As it’s recorded here, it seems that Adam and Enoch lived for over 300years at the same time & they both “walked with God.” It leaves me wondering how much of that experience with God Adam passed onto his great, great, great, great grandson?   We’re not told how Enoch walked with God – what that looked like or entailed but death did not come to him, as it did Adam, but God took him.

Thinking about this spiritual inheritance I realise that my spiritual inheritance comes through belief in Jesus, and so I can also “walk with God”. The best thing is that Jesus, through His Word & the Holy Spirit, actually tells me how I can do this. What an amazing thing … to be able to “walk with God”!

Father I am so grateful that I can also walk with you and never see death.

Written by Suzie Hodgson

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Monday 21 September, 2015

Genesis 4:17-26

17 Cain loved his wife and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to Enoch. At that time Cain was building a city. He named it after his son Enoch. 18 Enoch had a son named Irad. Irad was the father of Mehujael. Mehujael was the father of Methushael. And Methushael was the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech married two women. One was named Adah, and the other was named Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal. He was the father of people who live in tents and raise livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal. He was the father of everyone who plays stringed instruments and wind instruments. 22 Zillah also had a son. His name was Tubal-Cain. He made all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron. Tubal-Cain’s sister was Naamah. 23 Lamech said to his wives, “Adah and Zillah, listen to me! You wives of Lamech, hear my words! I have killed a man because he wounded me. I have killed a young man because he hurt me. 24 Anyone who would have killed Cain would have been paid back seven times. But anyone who hurts me will be paid back 77 times.” 25 Adam slept with his wife again. She gave birth to a son and named him Seth. She said, “God has given me another child. He will take the place of Abel, because Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son and named him Enosh. Then people began to call on the name of the Lord.

Epilogue: The Birth of Seth (4:25-26)

Adam had sexual relations with his wife again, and she gave birth to another son. She named him Seth, for she said, “God has granted me another son in place of Abel, whom Cain killed.” When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.

 

Adam and Eve’s kids – include 3 that we know by name. Cain, Abel (murdered by Cain) and Seth. Cain (remembered for his violence) has descendants including Lamech. All we know about him is what is written here – but it is not good, particularly the boasting threat in v 23-24 “… I have killed a man who attacked me, a young man who wounded me. If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times, then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!” All puffed up with self importance and threatening violence there is no mention of the Lord.

In contrast, Seth’s son Enosh, Adam and Eve’s grandson is born and it is noted in v26 ” At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.”

There is no other information to go on other than the evidence of their recorded actions, comments. But I know – that when I become me-focused, when self-importance drives self-preservation, then I am not walking close to the Lord – I am not calling on the name of the Lord.

Lord – help me heed the caution in these verses and like the people in Enosh’s time – may I call on Your name, The Name that saves, heals, sets free, forgives, restores, transforms.

Written by Ps. Linda Quinn

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    Interesting, verse (24). Jesus referenced it in Matthew 18:22. What a difference in attitude there is between Cain and Jesus. It is worth pausing and considering this may be a comparison of the attitudes that emanate from Heaven compared to the general attitudes found on Earth.

    Thanks Linda

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