Gen devos 6-10

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 6



Food for Thought: From the Garden to the flood…

Remember the Garden was good, there was peace between God and humanity, and now by Genesis 6 the story has taken a dramatic turn for the worst. Did you notice how bad things have gotten?

Gen 6:5-7, “5 The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the LORD said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”

Gen 6:11-13, 17, “11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth…17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.”

That’s the bad news, humanity had become wicked and was focused on evil. The author is clear, there was no room for God in the lives of his creation. It is tough to read that the Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth. We wonder if ever God feels this way in the face of all the violence and corruption we see on the media? But, with all the bad that surrounds us, we still have a good God who doesn’t give up on his creation totally! There is good news in this story found in v. 8, “But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” God tells Noah that he is going to send a flood to destroy all life. He is going to start over. Isn’t it interesting that God uses a watery grave to bring new life? He uses the same picture for baptism in 1 Peter 3:20 and Romans 6:3-4. In order for there to be new life, there has to be death. Thankfully for us God does start over, he blesses Noah and from this one man and his descendants God carries his plan forward to restore Eden’s dream on the earth!

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:


Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 7


Food for Thought: The Flood that only eight knew were coming!

I imagine that Noah was concerned for those who were his neighbors. Other scriptures portray him as preacher of righteousness, maybe warning his neighbors that there was time of judgment coming (cf. 2 Peter 2:5). But it seems that those that lived near Noah disregarded his ark building and just went about their business as usual (cf. Luke 17:27). Then the day came, and Noah and his wife and three sons and their wives along with all the animals that came to Noah entered the ark, and then the flood waters came!

Unexpected waves ripping through homes, and demolishing buildings, wiping out all life. This is not a picture we like, but it is not one we can ignore. The sinfulness of humanity lead to their destruction. Sin always results in death. What we learn today is that it is possible to stand against the tidal wave of sin and selfishness. It is possible to follow God and his ways in a world that doesn’t have room for God. It is possible to be who God has created us and called us to be if we will allow our ambitions, dreams, desires and our hearts to be synced with the purposes and plan of God. Noah was a man of righteousness, obedience and faith. May we too learn to be like Noah in the world we live in too.

Imagine for just a moment what life might have been like on the ark. Eight people, and hundreds of animals of all shapes, and kinds. It was a zoo in there, literally. Children often times grow up with the Noah and the Ark story being one of their favorites. I don’t blame them. It is pretty awesome. Just think of the discomfort of having to live with and care for every animal species and your own children! I think Noah was probably glad that he wasn’t a professional Zookeeper.


Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 8


Food for Thought: Repeat of the beginning…

Do you remember as you read in Genesis 1:2 about the Spirit of God hovering over the surface of the waters. Now what did you notice in Gen 8:1, “…he sent a wind over the earth.” The word for Spirit and wind is often times the same word. What we have then is a repeat of the creation narrative after the destruction of the earth. God is re-doing his creative work. Genesis 8 is a nice change of pace after reading of the depravity of the human condition. We read of a God who doesn’t abandon us. He has every reason too, but he has bigger plans than we ever could imagine.

The waters recede and Noah and the animals exit the ark and they begin the process of refilling the earth with new animals and new people. One of the first things Noah does after he gets off the ark is to build an altar to the Lord. You would too! Noah is expressing his deep gratitude and thankfulness to God for God’s constant care and protection while on the ark. But notice, God knows that we are weak and that we will mess things up again. Notice the phrase in Gen 8:21, “…every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood.” Ouch! But it’s true. The problem we have, the problem we share is a problem of self. We somehow think we are the right kings and queens of our environments so we set up our selfish ways as supreme. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way that life isn’t about us. God has always wanted to make his grace known to humanity and for us to bring him glory.

When the creation does what the creator wants and wills, then it brings the creator glory. If you made a clay “snow” man, and one day it came to life, and tried to overthrow your leadership by starting its own little kingdom to be at war with you would be hurt. I mean, you formed the clay creation in your own hands. You know every feature, every bump, every imperfection. You would be hurt to one day wake up and see the “snow” man declaring itself to be supreme and the lord of all. You would have to do what only a loving creator could do to put things right…start over. You would, out of love, destroy that which you made to bring new life, and heal the hurt caused by the created thing’s wretchedness. I know our little analogy breaks down and isn’t quite the same, but hopefully you see where I am going with this. God’s wrath and judgment doesn’t come from hatred and rage, God’s wrath is evidence of his great love for that which he has created.

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

 


Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 9

God’s Promise with Noah
God gave Noah and his family the command to multiply and fill the earth. He also stated they would be respected by all the animals and were responsible for their care. They were also given all the animals and birds to be food just as he had previously given them plants as food. One caution was that if they ate any animal they had to drain the blood first. God also told them that they were accountable for the life of other humans. He placed the consequence of killing a human, shedding their blood, to be the shedding of their blood, death. God then established his promise, covenant, with Noah, his sons and all of their descendants, us, and every living creature that he would never destroy the earth by floodwaters. Then God placed a sign in the clouds for them and us to see and remind us of this promise….a rainbow. God states that when the rainbow appears it will remind Him of His promise to us.

Noah’s Sons
Noah was a farmer and planted a vineyard after leaving the ark. He drank some of the wine from he had made and drank enough to get drunk. He was in his tent with his clothes off and he had not covered himself in any way.  His son, Ham entered into the tent and instead of respecting his father and covering his nakedness Ham went to tell his brothers. Shem and Japheth respected their father. They took a garment, laid it across their shoulders, and walked backward into the tent so as not to disgrace their father and covered their father’s nakedness. When Noah woke up and saw his condition he discovered what had happened and proclaimed that Ham would be the lowest of slaves to his brothers. He also praised Shem and Japheth by giving them respect, honor and an inheritance. Noah lived another 350 years after the flood for total of 950 years.


Food for Thought: Rainbows…

I am not going to lie, I really love seeing rainbows. Even as a little kid, I thought they were awesome. I didn’t go to church, but I knew the Noah’s Ark story and the rainbow in the sky has always captured my attention. Recently, a couple of years ago now, on our youth group’s first time in Houston I saw a rainbow all week long, every day inside on art, and posters. Then one day I saw a real one outside, and I cried like a little baby. I was struggling with some issues. When I saw that rainbow I was reminded that I am not in charge and I have never have been in charge. All I am asked to do is to trust that God is in control and that he is working things out for his glory. Let me tell you, once I let go of the reins, I had a better week!

See, the rainbow from the time of Noah is a sign from God that He keeps his promises. His promise to Noah and the rest of us is that he would never destroy the whole earth with water again. He hasn’t. The rainbow reminds us that God is a promise keeping God. One of the things that rainbow does for me is remind me of all of God’s promises. If God could keep just that one promise, and use a rainbow as a reminder, think of all the other promises God has made! Why would we think that God could or only would keep one promise. He sticks to his word. As a matter of fact, His Word is His bond. If he said it, you can count on God to do it.

So, in what area of your life, in your walk with Christ do you need to be reminded that God is a God who keeps his promises? Is it forgiveness? He promises to forgive and forget (Psalm 103;1 Jn 1:9). Is it his love? He loves us (Pro 3:12; Jn 3:16). Is it his provision? He says he will take care of our needs (Phil 4:19; Matt 6:11; Matt 6:25-34). We could go on and on. I hope you get the idea. Paul reiterates this for us, “20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ” (2 Cor 1:20).


Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

Daily reading: Read Genesis chapter 10



Food for Thought: Another list of names…

Let’s be honest, sometimes when we get to lists in the Bible we have a tendency to skip over them. We might try to read them, but sometimes in our attempts to make it through these lists of names we lose interest in reading the Bible altogether. Let us not forget that the Bible is more than a list of names. Yes, reading genealogies are not the most enjoyable reading. What we forget is that every name has a story. While we may not know the stories that go along with each name, God does. He wanted us to read those names, so he has preserved them. These names were important enough for God to preserve for thousands of years for us to read them in 2012.

There are a list of names in your family history that mean a whole lot to you. If you read my family tree, and saw the list of names you probably wouldn’t get to excited. But again, with every name is a story. I am sure your family history has quite a few interesting stories. I know mine does. I didn’t know as I was growing up, but my great grandfather Charlie Retherford was a church of Christ minister in the town where I started my faith journey. I didn’t learn this information till I was in my twenties, and now I, like my great grandfather, have given my life to Christ and have entered full time ministry work too. If you saw the following list it wouldn’t mean much to you: Jason the son of Larry, Larry the son of Marion, Marion the son of Charlie, Charlie the son of John, John the son of Robert, Robert the son of Elijah (this is as far back as I can trace things for the Retherford family lineage), but to me these names are precious, special, and tell my family’s story of migration from England to Kentucky to Ohio and on to Oklahoma! The table of nations, the list of names, we read in Genesis 10 functions in a similar way. These names are the names of our ancestors, the very one’s God uses to repopulate the earth. We are where we are because of these people.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of your family story, how you came to be, and the people that came before you. Your names, and the names that are a part of your family history matter to God. So, take time today to thank God for your story, and for your family’s story. Commit to being a story teller and share the story of how God rescued you from the world. Commit to pass it on.

Reflection:

1. What stood out to you today?

2. What is one thing you can take away from this chapter?

Prayer:

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About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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