Tuesday, January 07, 2014

January 7, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 11 & 12, and Matthew 6

Genesis 11 - Tower of Babylon, Generations from Shem to Abram
The whole earth had the same language. As people migrated east the found the land of Shinar and settled there (Modern day - Iran). The came together and made bricks and they used asphalt for mortar. They built a city with a tower with its top in the sky. They did this to "make a name for themselves, in order to avoid being scattered over the face of the earth. The LORD came down looked over the city and said, "If, as one people all having the same language, they have begun to do this, then nothing they play to do will be impossible for them. Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another's speech." The Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth, and they stopped building the city. Its name is Babylon. Then Genesis 10 outlines the generations from Shem to Abram:
Shem lived 600 years - had Arpachshad at 100 (2 years after the flood)
Arpachshad lived 438 years - had Shelah at 35
Shelah lived 433 years - had Eber at 30
Eber lived 464 years - had Peleg at 34
Peleg lived 239 years - had Reu at 30
Reu lived 239 years - had Serug at 32
Serug lived 230 years - had Nahor at 30
Nahor lived 148 years - had Terah at 29
Terah lived 275 years - had Abram, Nahor, and Haran at 70
Haran fathered Lot, Milcah, and Iscah, and then he died in his native land, Ur of the Chaldeans (possibly modern day Iraq). Abram married Sarai. Nahor married his niece Milcah. Terah and his sons' families set out of Ur of the Chaldeans to settle in Canaan, but they settled in Haran (modern day Turkey or Syria).

Genesis 12 - The Call to Abram & Time in Egypt
The LORD said to Abram, to go out of his land, away from relatives to a land He will show him. The LORD promised Abram that he will make him into a great nation, bless him, make his name great, and that he will be a blessing. The LORD said he would bless those who bless him, and curse those who treat him with contempt. At 75 years old Abram obeyed and left Haran for Canaan with Sarai and Lot, they also took all their possessions and the people he had acquired in Haran. They passed Shechem, at the oak of Moreh (in Canaan). There were Canaanites in the land, but the LORD told Abram He would give him the land to Abram's offspring. Abram built an altar there. Then he moved to the hill country east of Bethel and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. He built an altar there to the LORD and worshiped Him. Then Abram journeyed to the Negev. There was a famine, so Abram went to Egypt for a while. Knowing of Sarai's beauty they devised a scheme to say she was his sister so they wouldn't kill him. They did this when they encountered Pharaoh, so Sarai was taken to Pharaoh's house. Abram acquired livestock and slaves from this. The LORD struck Pharaoh's house with plagues though, so he brought Abram in and confronted him about not telling him Sarai was his wife. So he gave Sarai back to Abram, and sent them away.  

Matthew 6 - Giving, Praying, Fasting, Possessions, Anxiety
Jesus warns to not practice righteousness in front of people to be seen by them, otherwise there will be no reward from your Father in heaven. Don't sound the trumpet when you give. When you give, don't let your left hand know what your right is doing, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Jesus warns not to pray in order to be seen, but to go into a private room and shut the door. Pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Don't babble in your prayers like idolaters. Your Father knows the things you need before you ask Him. Jesus gives us a model prayers: "Our Father in heaven, your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

Jesus warns not to fast like hypocrites for others to see, altering your physical appearance, so it's obvious to people. When you fast, put oil on your head, and wash your face, so you don't show your fasting. Do it in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Jesus warns not to collect treasures on earth, but treasures in heaven. Where your treasure is your heart is also. If your eye is bad your whole body will be full of darkness. You can't be slave to two masters - God and money.

Jesus encourages us not to worry about our life, what we will eat or drink, our body, or what we will wear. God cares for us more than the animals and flowers, we aren't even sovereign over ourselves. Idolaters eagerly seek food, water, and clothing, but we must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these will be provided for us. Don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself.

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