Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 11, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 19 & 20, and Matthew 10

Genesis 19 - Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah, Lot's lineage - Moabites & Ammonites
The two angels entered Sodom in the evening. When Lot saw them he bowed face to the ground and offered hospitality and lodging. They wanted to sleep in the square, but Lot urged them not to. Before bed, the young and old men of Sodom (the whole population) surrounded the house and asked for the men that they could have sex with them. Lot told them not to and offered his two virgin daughters. They told him to get out of the way saying they'll do more harm to them because Lot is judging them, and he's a foreigner. They put pressure on Lot and came to break down the door, but the angels reached out, and brought Lot in and shut the door. The angels struck the men with a blinding light, so they couldn't find the entrance. The angels told Lot that they are about to destroy the city and to leave with his family. Lot told his sons-in-law to come out with him, but they thought he was joking. At daybreak the angels urged Lot to leave with his wife and two daughters, he hesitated, but because of the LORD's compassion for him, the men grabbed his hand, his wife's, and his two daughters' and brought them out of the city. One angel said, "Run for your lives! Don't look back and don't stop anywhere on the plain! Run to the mountains, or you will be swept away!" He asked if he could run to a close town (Zoar) and they gave the okay. Out of the sky the LORD rained burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah from the LORD. Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt. In the morning Abraham looked to Sodom and Gomorrah and saw smoke going up like a furnace. Lot left Zoar and lived in the mountains with his daughters in a cave. His daughters got him drunk and slept with him to have children "preserving Lot's line". Lot was so drunk he didn't know this happened two nights in a row. Lot's daughters became pregnant. The firstborn had a son named Moab - the father of the Moabites. The younger had a son named Ben-ammi - the father of the the Ammonites.

Genesis 20 - Abimelech 2.0, God Sovereign over Our Ability to Sin, & Over the Womb
Abraham traveled to Negev and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While in Gerar he said Sarah was his sister to king Abimelech (a different one than before). God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him he was about to die because Sarah is married. He appealed to their innocence since he didn't approach her. God said yes, it's because God kept Abimelech from sinning against him, not letting him touch her. God told him to return her to Abraham, because he is a prophet and will pray for the king and the king will live. If he didn't return her he would die. Abimelech obeyed, and asked Abraham why he did this. Abraham said he thought there was no fear of God there, and that they would kill him because of his wife; besides, she really is his sister, the daughter of his father by a different mother. Abimelech took sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah. He told Abraham to settle anywhere he wants in his land. Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female slaves so that they could bear children, because the LORD had completely closed all the wombs in Abimelech's household on account of Sarah.

Matthew 10 - 12 Disciples Sent out, Persecutions Predicted 
Jesus gave His 12 disciples authority to drive out unclean spirits, disease and sickness. Here are the names of the 12 apostles: (1) Simon/Peter (2) Andrew (Peter's brother) (3) James (son of Zebedee) (4) John (James' brother) (5) Philip (6) Bartholomew (7) Thomas (8) Matthew (the tax collector) (9) James (son of Alphaeus) (10) Thaddaeus (11) Simon (the zealot) (12) Judas Iscariot (who betrayed Jesus) Jesus sent them out with instructions to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel announcing, "The kingdom of heaven has come near." Also, to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with skin diseases, and drive out demons. He told them to rely on the hospitality of the towns, and not to take anything. If a household let your peace be on it, but if unworthy shake the dust off your feet when you leave. The day of judgment will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than them. Jesus is sending the disciples out among wolves, so be as shrewd as serpents and harmless as doves. People will hand you to the sanhedrins, governors, and kings because of Jesus, so that we might bear witness to them and the nations about Christ. In these times don't worry about what to say, it will be given, because the Spirit of our heavenly Father will speak through us. Brothers will betray you. Fathers will betray you. Children will betray parents. You will be hated for Jesus' name. The one who endures will be delivered. When persecution comes, escape. They called the the head of the house of God, "Beelzebul," how much more members! Don't be afraid, there is nothing covered that won't be uncovered. Don't fear those who can kill the body, but not the soul, rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Don't be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows. If we acknowledge Christ, we will be acknowledged by Christ before our Father in heaven. Whoever denies Jesus, will also deny him before My Father in heaven. Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Anyone who finds his life will lose it, and anyone who loses his life because of Jesus will find it. The one who welcomes you welcomes Jesus, His Father, who sent Him. Those who show hospitality will receive a reward.

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