Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 17, 2022

“Please let there be no strife between you and me”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 13:1-13.

“So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, he and his wife and all that belonged to him, and Lot with him.

Now Abram was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold.  He went on his journeys from the Negev as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there formerly;  and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.  Now Lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents.  And the land could not sustain them while dwelling together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to remain together.  And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock.  Now the Canaanite and the Perizzite were dwelling then in the land.

So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, nor between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are brothers.  Is not the whole land before you?  Please separate from me;  if to the left, then I will go to the right; or if to the right, then I will go to the left.”  Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go to Zoar.  So Lot chose for himself all the valley of the Jordan, and Lot journeyed eastward.  Thus they separated from each other.  Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom.  Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.”  Genesis 13:1-13.

——————

Consider the following verses regarding the wisdom of avoiding strife.

“A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.” Proverbs 15:18.

“29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.
30 A tranquil heart is life to the body,
But passion is rottenness to the bones.” Proverbs 14:29-30.

“16 Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.
17 Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.” Proverbs 15:16-17.

“Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it
Than a house full of feasting with strife.” Proverbs 17:1.

And, if you can take the next step from “only” avoiding strife and separating, to go to love and unity through God’s grace, then you got something precious and eternal.

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:14-15.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Coming down upon the beard,
Even Aaron’s beard,
Coming down upon the edge of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon
Coming down upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forever.” Psalm chapter 133.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 12:10-20.

“Now there was a famine in the land;  so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.  It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman;  and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’;  and they will kill me, but they will let you live.  Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.”  It came about when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful.  Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh;  and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.  Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake;  and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels.

But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.  Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me?  Why did you not tell me that she was your wife?  Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife?  Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.”  Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him;  and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.”  Genesis 12:10-20.

—————–

The LORD guides us, protects us, and also otherwise blesses us.  

We can infer God’s guidance and protection by the fact that Abram and Sarai were successfully able to avoid the severe famine by going to Egypt.  Verse 10.  We can infer God’s blessing by the fact that Pharaoh “… treated Abram well for her sake;  and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels.”  Verse 16.  

But, God’s protection is expressly stated in verse 17.  “But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.”  As a result, Pharaoh’s officials “… escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.” Verse 20.  

Today’s Scripture reminds us of the Exodus when God struck Pharaoh and the Egyptians with the ten plagues and caused the Egyptians to give gifts to Israel before they finally allowed Israel to leave Egypt.

Let us meditate on God’s guidance, protection, and other blessings upon His people a/k/a chosen ones a/k/a His elect.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go;
I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8.

“8 Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings
9 From the wicked who despoil me,
My deadly enemies who surround me.” Psalm 17:8-9.

“17 He delivered me from my strong enemy,
And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the LORD was my stay.
19 He brought me forth also into a broad place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.” Psalm 18:17-19.

“16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me lovingkindness.” Psalm 59:16-17.

“9 “For the LORD’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance.
10 “He found him in a desert land,
And in the howling waste of a wilderness;
He encircled him, He cared for him,
He guarded him as the pupil of His eye.

11 “Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.
12 “The LORD alone guided him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
13 “He made him ride on the high places of the earth,
And he ate the produce of the field;
And He made him suck honey from the rock,
And oil from the flinty rock,
14 Curds of cows, and milk of the flock,
With fat of lambs,
And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats,
With the finest of the wheat—
And of the blood of grapes you drank wine.”

“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalm chapter 23.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.  In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us.  …”  Ephesians 1:3-8.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 12:1-9.

“Now the LORD said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

4 So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him;  and Lot went with him.  Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.  5 Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan;  thus they came to the land of Canaan.  6 Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh.  Now the Canaanite was then in the land.  7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”  So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him.  8 Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east;  and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.  9 Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the Negev.”  Genesis 12:1-9.

—————-

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.”  Hebrews 11:1-2.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;  and he went out, not knowing where he was going.”  Hebrews 11:8.

Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.  The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”  So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.”  Galatians 3:6-9.

“yet, with respect to the promise of God, he (Abraham) did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.  Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.”  Romans 4:20-25.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis chapter 11.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+11&version=NASB1995

I quote only the following verses.

“Now the whole earth used the same language and the same words.  It came about as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there.  They said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and burn them thoroughly.”  And they used brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar.  They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”  The LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built.  The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language.  And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”  So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of the whole earth;  and they stopped building the city.  Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth;  and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.”  Genesis 11:1-9.

—————–

Certainly, the LORD’s action of confusing their language and scattering them assisted His purpose that Noah and his sons populate and fill the earth as He commanded in Genesis 9:1 and Genesis 9:7.

But, God expressly stated the purpose of confusing their language in verses 6 and 7 as highlighted in bold italic font above.  We may still wonder why it is such a bad thing that “nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them”.    

Where is the harm in building a tall tower and living together and working together and doing greater and greater things?

Likewise, we may be puzzled by the following Scripture.  “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil;  and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” — therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken.  So He drove the man out;  and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.”  Genesis 3:22-24.

Where is the harm in taking from the tree of life and living forever?

In both situations, the LORD does not want nor allow man to be able to boast about his works.  The LORD does not want nor allow man to be able to boast about his wisdom and alleged free-will even in such a small work as taking from the tree of life.

Consider the following Scriptures.

“10 The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.” Psalm 33:10-11.

“Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24.

“For it is written,

“I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”

Where is the wise man?  Where is the scribe?  Where is the debater of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”  1 Corinthians 1:19-21.

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.  But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”  1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith;  and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Ephesians 2:8-9.

The LORD did not want nor allow man to be able to boast about their city of Babel.  The LORD’s purpose is that His righteous ones live by faith.  

“By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance;  and he went out, not knowing where he was going.  By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;  for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”  Hebrews 11:8-10.   

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis chapter 10.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+10&version=NASB1995

I quote only the following verses to give the reader some idea of how many names were mentioned in the 32 verses of the chapter.

“Now these are the records of the generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah; and sons were born to them after the flood.

2 The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras.  3 The sons of Gomer were Ashkenaz and Riphath and Togarmah.  4 The sons of Javan were Elishah and Tarshish, Kittim and Dodanim.  5 From these the coastlands of the nations were separated into their lands, every one according to his language, according to their families, into their nations.

32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, by their nations;  and out of these the nations were separated on the earth after the flood.”  Genesis 10:1-5 and 32.

—————–

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.”  Genesis 9:1.

“As for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Genesis 9:7.

Today’s Scripture shows a good start and partial fulfillment to God’s blessing and command to Noah and his sons.  

As we try to do in Reformed Doctrine Daily Devotions, when we see one work of God, we eagerly meditate upon what similar work, maybe even a greater work, that God may do in the future.

“Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.  God said to him,

“Your name is Jacob;
You shall no longer be called Jacob,
But Israel shall be your name.”

Thus He called him Israel. God also said to him,

I am God Almighty;
Be fruitful and multiply;
A nation and a company of nations shall come from you,
And kings shall come forth from you.

“The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac,
I will give it to you,
And I will give the land to your descendants after you.” Genesis 35:9-12.

“3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5.

All your sons will be taught of the LORD;
And the well-being of your sons will be great
.” Isaiah 54:13.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 9:19-29.

“Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard.  He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent.  Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.  But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.  When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him.  So he said,

“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brothers.”

He also said,

“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.
“May God enlarge Japheth,
And let him dwell in the tents of Shem;
And let Canaan be his servant.”

Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood.  So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.”  Genesis 9:19-29.

——————

Consider that of all the stories about Noah, whom God called a righteous man, that God could have told about Noah and his actions in the three hundred and fifty years after the flood, God chose this one.  So, let us sit up straight, meditate on today’s Scripture, and learn the lesson.  

We are not commanded to only honor our parents if they do things that we think are wise in our own eyes.  

Many times our parents will do things that we think are not wise in our own eyes, but are in fact wise things to do.

But, there are also times as shown in today’s Scripture when our parents will do things that are in fact not wise.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1.

Noah was not wise in getting drunk, but today’s Scripture teaches that we as children still have the duty to honor our parents.  Shem and Japeth honored their father Noah, even though Noah was drunk, by covering Noah’s nakedness and not looking on his nakedness, and Noah blessed them.  Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside, and Noah cursed Canaan. 

 But, even more important than Noah’s knowledge of what each of his children had done and his blessing or curse of each one, God sees everything, even our secrets hidden in the deepest part of our hearts, and God will reward or punish us.

Throughout Scripture, we see examples of how God will reward us or punish us in how we treat our parents.  I present only two examples.

In the Old Testament, it is shocking, but we see that God called for the death of children who “only” cursed their parents.  Although that law is certainly not applicable today, it shows how strongly God views our duty to honor our parents. “He who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.” Exodus 21:17. “If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death;  he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him.”  Leviticus 20:9. 

In the New Testament, we see the general and applicable law, even one of the Ten Commandments.  “Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), SO THAT IT MAY BE WELL WITH YOU, AND THAT YOU MAY LIVE LONG ON THE EARTH.”  Ephesians 6:2.   

The world may belittle and make fun of our parents.  As one example, we see the Progressive Insurance TV marketing campaign with so many commercials of a man teaching others to not be like their parents. 

But, God takes very seriously the duty of children to honor their parents even making it one of the Ten Commandments.  

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you.”  Exodus 20:12.

“Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.”  Deuteronomy 5:16.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 9:8-17.

“Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying, “Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you;  and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you;  of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.  I establish My covenant with you;  and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”  God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;  I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.  It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud, and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh;  and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.  When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”  And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”   Genesis 9:8-17.

—————–

We love the beauty and meaning of rainbows, that “bow in the cloud” which is God’s sign of the covenant with Noah and His descendants and every living creature that He never destroy the earth again with a flood.  But, we may not be aware that through rainbows, God is also revealing some of His glory.

“As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance.  Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.  …”  Ezekiel 1:28. 

“And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance;  and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance.”  Revelation 4:3.

“I saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud;  and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire;”  Revelation 10:1. 

And, we know that there were other covenants in Scripture.  But, we may not be aware of the covenant that Scripture introduced through reference of the rainbow covenant in today’s Scripture. 

“9 “For this is like the days of Noah to Me,
When I swore that the waters of Noah
Would not flood the earth again;
So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you
Nor will I rebuke you.
10 “For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
Says the LORD who has compassion on you.
” Isaiah 54:9-10.

The blessing of the covenant continues in a new paragraph, but before I continue with the quote, I want to point out that the blessing of God’s protection is figuratively described below as precious stones, which we can infer have the colors of the rainbow.  How wonderful that God made His protection so to speak, as hard as diamonds and as beautiful as a rainbow!  

“11 “O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted,
Behold, I will set your stones in antimony,
And your foundations I will lay in sapphires.
12 “Moreover, I will make your battlements of rubies,
And your gates of crystal,
And your entire wall of precious stones.” Isaiah 54:11-12.

The blessings of the covenant continues, but before I continue with the rest of the quote, I want to make both a general point and specific point.  Generally, other doctrine views covenants as a mutual agreement between God and man such as if man does his part, then God will do His part.  But, Reformed Doctrine views covenants as God’s promises to His elect.  Specifically, there are those who teach that the instruction and well-being of their children is dependent on man and they wring their hands as to how few hours a week their children receive Christian teaching.  Although few churches emphasize Christian schools and catechisms like Reformed churches, Reformed Doctrine focuses on and trusts God’s promises.

“13 “All your sons will be taught of the LORD;
And the well-being of your sons will be great.
14 “In righteousness you will be established;
You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear;
And from terror, for it will not come near you.
15 “If anyone fiercely assails you it will not be from Me.
Whoever assails you will fall because of you.
16 “Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals
And brings out a weapon for its work;
And I have created the destroyer to ruin.
17 “No weapon that is formed against you will prosper;
And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD,
And their vindication is from Me,” declares the LORD.” Isaiah 54:13-17.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 9:1-7.

“And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given. 3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 4 Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

6 “Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.
7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Genesis 9:1-7.

—————–

God sent out Noah, his sons, and his daughter-in-laws out of the ark onto the earth that He had flooded and had blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, except Noah and those that were with him in the ark.  

But, as today’s Scripture shows, God did not send them out without His blessing, empty-handed. Today’s Scripture shows God’s protection, God’s provision for sustenance, and God’s purpose that He gave them.    

God sent them out with His protection as we can see in verses 2, 5, and 6.

God sent them out with His provision for sustenance in verse 3.

God sent them out with His purpose.  

“… For in the image of God
He made man.
7 “As for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Verses 6-7.

We too can expect God’s protection, God’s provision for sustenance, and God’s purpose, and we should eagerly seek, meditate, and pray for these elements.  We can also see these elements in the Lord’s Prayer which can help us to do so.

“9 “Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 ‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’] Matthew 6:9-13.

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 8:13-22.

“Now it came about in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the water was dried up from the earth.  Then Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the surface of the ground was dried up.  In the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dry.  Then God spoke to Noah, saying, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.  Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.”  So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.  Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by their families from the ark.

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.  The LORD smelled the soothing aroma;  and the LORD said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth;  and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
And cold and heat,
And summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.” Genesis 8:13-22.

—————-

God led Noah and his family and all the animals and all the other things out of the ark and onto the earth, family by family, commanding them:  “be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 

What a joyful procession that must have been!    

“The LORD smelled the soothing aroma”. 

But, we should not think that the soothing aroma came from man who probably stunk after being cooped up in the ark with all the animals for so many days.  Nor, should we think that the LORD suddenly changed His view of man, for He says:  “the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth”.

The LORD smelled the soothing aroma from the sacrifice, the burnt offerings on the altar.  

So to speak, when the LORD considers us, He smells the soothing aroma of Christ from those in Christ, His elect, and He likewise leads us out into the world in triumph.  

For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;  to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.  And who is adequate for these things?  For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.”  2 Corinthians 2:15-17.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”  2 Corinthians 2:14. 

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 6, 2022

“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 8:1-12.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+8&version=NASB1995

I quote only the following verses.

“But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark;  and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.  Also the fountains of the deep and the floodgates of the sky were closed, and the rain from the sky was restrained;  and the water receded steadily from the earth, and at the end of one hundred and fifty days the water decreased.  In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat.  The water decreased steadily until the tenth month;  in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible.”  Genesis 8:1-5. 

—————–

Today’s Scripture reminds us of the time when Jesus was with His disciples in a boat on the sea.

“And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.  Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion;  and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”  And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.”  And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.  And He said to them, “Why are you afraid?  Do you still have no faith?”  They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?””  Mark 4:37-41.

When we consider God’s sovereignty, reversing and calming even a world-wide flood to care for Noah and his family, we have faith that God will also calm whatever fierce storm and fearful heart that we encounter in our life.    

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.  Heidelberg Catechism.

“20 Our soul waits for the LORD;
He is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
22 Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.” Psalm 33:20-22.

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