Monday, January 06, 2014

January 6, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 9 & 10, and Matthew 5

Genesis 9 - God's Covenant with Noah
God blessed Noah and his sons and told them to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. He put a fear of man in the animals, and put the animals under man's authority. The animals will be food for them (like plants). God forbid them to eat the lifeblood of the animals. God told them to understand that He is confirming His covenant with them and their descendants, and with the animals to never again wipe out all life with a flood. God gave them a covenant sign of a bow (rainbow) in the clouds as a sign of the covenant between Him and the earth. Whenever clouds are formed and the bow appears, He will remember the everlasting covenant. The whole earth was populated from Noah and his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Noah was a farmer. He drank some wine and got drunk, and lay naked in his tent. Ham, father of Canaan, saw Noah naked and told his brothers outside. Shem and Japheth walked backwards (so they wouldn't see their dad naked) with a cloak to cover up Noah. When Noah woke up and learned what Ham did he said, "Canaan will be cursed, he will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers." He also said, "Praise the LORD, the God of Shem; Canaan will be his slave. God will extend Japheth, he will dwell in the tents of Shem; Canaan will be his slave. Noah lived 350 years after the flood and lived to be 950.

Genesis 10 - Table of Nations
This chapter outlines the generations of Noah's sons and the regions where each one grew.
(1) Japheth's line is described as the coastland peoples. Modern day geography: Possibly as far west as Spain and Italy, through Turkey to the Caspian Sea through Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and northern Iran.
(2) Ham's line is described as being in the territory of Sidon to Gaza toward Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Lasha. Modern day geography: Northeastern Africa down the Nile River through Egypt to northern Sudan; around the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden (Saudi Arabia and Yemen); along the coast of Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea (Israel, Lebanon, Syria); and down the Euphrates to southern Iraq.
(3) Shem's line is described as being in the territory of Mesha to Sephar to the hill country of the east. Modern day geography: Western Turkey near the Aegean Sea, Syria, Iraq, the bottom of the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman), and in Africa (Djibouti, just east of northern Ethiopia/north of Somalia, across the Red Sea from Yemen).  If you want to see the names in the genealogical lines more specifically, I wrote them out a while ago here: Genesis Chapter 10 ~ The Generations After Noah. Below is a helpful graphic from the ESV Study Bible (pg. 67) showing a map of where all of these places are in Central Asia.

Matthew 5 - Beattitudes, Salt & Light, Christ Fulfills the Law: 
Murder, Adultery, Divorce, Truth, Patience/Generosity, Love enemies
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain. After He sat down, His disciples came to Him, and He taught them:
(1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
(2) Blessed are those who mourn, they will be comforted.
(3) Blessed are the gentle, they will inherit the earth.
(4) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.
(5) Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.
(6) Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God.
(7) Blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called sons of God.
(8) Blessed are the persecuted for righteousness, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.
(9) Blessed are you when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Jesus. Your reward is great in heaven.

You are the salt of the earth, salt that loses it's taste is worthless and should be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world, giving light before all men, so that they can see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Jesus came to fulfill the law and prophets. Until heaven and earth pass away not one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished. Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever practices these will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Unless one's righteousness surpasses that of the Scribes and Pharisees he or she will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus tells us, that everyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. If you call someone "Fool!" or "Moron!" you will be subject to hellfire. If you are offering your gift at the altar [worshiping God] and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift. First go and be reconciled to your brother, then offer your gift.

Jesus tells us, that everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out, throw it away, same with your right hand. It is better to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to go into hell! Jesus tells us, that everyone who divorces his wife, except in a case of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Jesus tells us, don't take an oath at all: either by heaven (God's throne) or by earth (God's footstool) or by Jerusalem (the city of God's appointed King). Don't swear by your head, because you aren't even sovereign over the color of your hair (naturally speaking). Let your "yes" be "yes", and "no" be "no". Anything else is from the evil one.

Jesus tells us, not to resist an evildoer. If someone slaps you on the right cheek to turn the left to him also. If someone sues you for your shirt, give him your coat as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go two. Give to the one who asks, and don't turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Jesus tells us, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He's sovereign over the sun rising over evil and good. He sovereignly sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous. Even the evil and unbelievers love those who love them. Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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