January 5

Genesis 11:1-13:4

God had commanded the people to fill the earth (Genesis 1:28) but they resisted, they decided to stay put, to build themselves a city, and make a name for themselves (Genesis 11:4) (something about that doesn’t sound good). Not only that, they wanted to build a tower whose “top is in the heavens.” (this is man’s effort to reach heaven – this is the origin of all false religion striving to enter heaven by their own works)

God saw what humanity was doing; a conversation took place amongst the Trinity (did you notice the word “Us” in Genesis 11:7?) and God gave different groups different dialects or languages which then forced them to scatter and fill the earth.

In Genesis 10:2 we have the genealogy of Japeth. In Genesis 10:6 we have the genealogy of Ham. In Genesis 11:10 we have the genealogy of Shem, Noah’s third son. So here we are in the 11th chapter of the book of Genesis, 2,000 years of world history have already taken place, but early on in the Bible, God introduces Abram (Abraham), who would be the father of the Jews, the people through whom we would receive the Scriptures and the Savior. The bulk of the Old Testament is simply the rise and fall of Israel, but God never forsakes His people though we fall at times and are disciplined.. Along the way we will see prophecies and typologies of Jesus – everywhere.

Abram steps out in faith and obediently answers the call of God to Canaan, which would eventually be the Promised Land. We read in:

Hebrews 11:8 (NKJV) “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.”

God chose to bless Abraham and through him God promised to blessed the world. Genesis 12:3 is an epic passage. It is important for us as nations and individuals to “bless” Israel – for through them, Jesus would come! Take a moment to consider God’s promise to this Patriarch:

“…and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Abraham was not a perfect man, by any means! It’s hard to even fathom the thought that he lied about his wife, denying her, endangering her, and if it weren’t for God’s gracious intervention, it appears as if Sarai could have been a part of of Pharaoh’s harem. Wow! Not to excuse sin, but it does give hope to us all, doesn’t it?

God brought Abraham back to where he belonged (Genesis 13:3). 

Abraham’s Journey

Matthew 5:1-26

Christians usually refer to Matthew 5-7 as the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is considered by some to be the closest thing we have to a “Christian Manifesto.”

This is Jesus’ teaching to His disciples (Matthew 5:1). We believe Jesus would teach this message in what was called Circuit Teaching. Luke has a similar sermon beginning in Luke 6:17 but that is known as the “Sermon on the Plain,” because it was not on a mount, but delivered on level ground with the people.

What can I say about such beautiful words flowing from the lips of our Lord?

This is how we’re blessed.

This is who we are.

We are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). May God help us to maintain our saltiness and function as a preservative against the decay of society. May we live lives that cause others to thirst after Jesus. We are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14), and yet it’s not our light, it’s God’s light that we reflect (Philippians 2:15).

May we be like Him, rich in Good works!

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

We mustn’t see Jesus as eradicating the Old Testament Law, He is in it (John 5:39; Hebrews 10:7) and fulfills it (Matthew 5:17).

Jesus had a very high view of Scripture, presenting it as Divine to the very smallest Hebrew letter and stroke. When you have time click HERE to check out an article on this.

The only way our righteousness could possible exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees who meticulously followed the law, is to have the righteousness of Christ by faith in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Psalm 5:1-12

David experienced severe Spiritual warfare! I have a hunch the enemy saw his potential and worked overtime in his attempt to prevent David from fulfilling his destiny. Maybe you’re going through it as well.

We’re encouraged by David’s prayers, and struggles, and declarations of faith.

In Psalms 5:1-2 we hear David’s heart, in that he begged God to hear his prayers, to answer his cries which he would be lifting up loudly every morning. It teaches me to pray in such a way! That God would hear me, lead me, defend me and deal with my enemies who come against me. David gives reasons for God to judge the wicked. He then ends the Psalm/song/prayer with a jubilant declaration of faith.

Psalm 5:11–12 (NKJV) “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. 12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.”

Proverbs 1:24-28

Proverbs 1:24–28 (NKJV) Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.

What a heavy, heavy warning! Choose wisdom now, before it’s too late.

Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV) “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.”

Matthew 23:37 (NKJV) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, maybe something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward together in 2021.

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