January 8

Genesis 18:16-19:38

Abraham was a friend of God  (see 2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23) and God makes much more known to His friends than He does to others (see John 15:15).

The LORD lets Abraham know that He was considering complete judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah, so God sent the two men (angels) before Him. Abraham immediately thought of his nephew Lot, so he began to intercede on His behalf. This is a fascinating conversation/prayer between Abraham and God. Abraham begins by expresses his faith in the justice of God, “Far be it from You…to slay the righteous with the wicked. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” 

As Abraham continued to pray, he asked God not to judge the righteous with the wicked, in all reality he was praying for his nephew Lot. He asked the Lord, would You spare the city for 50? 45? 40? 30? 20? 

And then we read in:

Genesis 18:32 (NKJV) “Then he said, ‘Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: suppose ten should be found there?’ And He said, ‘I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.’”

Apparently there weren’t even ten righteous in these cities, so our just and holy God was forced to judge Sodom and Gomorrah. We read back in Genesis 18:20 that the outcry against these cities was great, that their sin was grave, it was flagrant. No doubt there were MANY sins in Sodom and Gomorrah, but a simple reading of the account reveals blatant, unashamed, and aggressive homosexuality. This sin was so horrible in the eyes of even the marginal believer Lot, that he offered his daughters as wives instead of the men. But the men of Sodom and Gomorrah would not back down.

God was forced to judge Sodom and Gomorrah and rained down fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:23), but before He did, God was merciful to Lot (Genesis 19:16) and his two daughters. God remembered the prayers of intercession from His friend Abraham (Genesis 19:29) and removed them before the land was leveled.

So many lessons to learn.

  1. 1. The value of intercession.

2. That God won’t judge the righteous with the wicked, pointing to the Rapture of the Church before the Tribulation Period (1 Thessalonians 5:9).

3. The sin of homosexuality (something that used to be recognized as wrong is now strutting down main street – aggressively).

4. The way we need to flee the counsel of this world, its ways, and the judgment to come.

5. May I never look back, as Lot’s wife did and was turned into a pillar of salt. Lot’s wife didn’t simply look back to see the fireworks, she wanted to go back; somehow her heart was attached and wouldn’t let go. Jesus warned us in:

Luke 17:32 (NKJV) “Remember Lot’s wife.”

Got Questions said this about Lot’s wife, “The Hebrew for “looked back” means more than to glance over one’s shoulder. It means “to regard, to consider, to pay attention to.” The Scriptures don’t say whether her death was a punishment for valuing her old life so much that she hesitated in obeying, or if it was a simple consequence of her reluctance to leave her life quickly. Either she identified too much with the city—and joined it—or she neglected to fully obey God’s warning, and she died.”

Jesus also said in:

Luke 9:62 (NKJV) “‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’”

In Genesis 19:30-38 we have the horrible beginning of the nations of Moab and Ammon through drunken incest. What a broken world we live in.

Matthew 6:25-7:14

Jesus reminds me not to worry about anything, including clothes and food. If our Heavenly Father takes care of the birds of the air, will He not take care of us? His children?

When Jesus asks the question about whether or not anyone could add one cubit to his stature through worry, I have a hunch He’s telling us that no one grows by worrying. On the contrary, we grow by NOT worrying, by simply trusting our Father!

I cannot overstate the value of priorities. Is God first in my life? If He is, He promises to add “…all these things.”

Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

How I need to be careful of a critical spirit. It’s okay to want to help your brother or sister who’s struggling, but it must be done with the utmost care. Jesus informs us that the only way to be able to remove the speck from my brother’s eye, is to remove the plank/beam from my own eye (Matthew 7:5).

Sandy Adams, “Optical surgery and confronting a brother are both sensitive operations. Be careful before you barge into another person’s life with a stain on your own.”

Be persistent in prayer (Matthew 7:7). In the Greek language we literally read that we are to “Keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking.”

I know it’s more than this but I believe we are to keep on asking for a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit, we are to keep on seeking the Lord Himself, and we are to keep on knocking on those doors of ministry opportunity; let’s see which one’s He opens (1 Corinthians 16:9; Colossians 4:3).

Our Father is eager to give good gifts to His children!

Psalm 8:1-9

What a beautiful Psalm on how much God values mankind! Isn’t it mind boggling to think that the Maker and Maintainer of all things is mindful of us? He even visits us! (Psalm 8:3-4)

You may have noticed the distinction in your Bible between the LORD and Lord (Psalm 8:19). LORD (all caps) is the covenant name of God. This Psalm begins and ends with the fact that the God of the Bible, (the LORD) is our Lord, which means He’s the master, commander, the shot-caller in our lives. This is why we must confess Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:91 Corinthians 12:3). We must surrender to His Lordship.

Psalm 8:2 teaches us the power of pure praise that comes from children. This is why, whenever I’m desperate, I ask the children to pray for me.

Psalm 8:2 (NIV) “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

But then again, all believers are children of God (1 John3:1).

Just a little reminder today – the Maker and Maintainer of the stars and the moon is mindful of us, He’s thinking of us. He made us too…a little lower than the angels (for now). God gave us dominion over the works of His hands (the earth) and even the beasts of the field. 

We have an absolutely awesome, powerful, and personal God – who visits us – He’s with us, every day. I pray that truth encourages you in whatever trials you might be facing in life.

Proverbs 2:6-15

Proverbs 2:6–15 (NKJV) “For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; 8 He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. 9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. 10 When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 11 Discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things, 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice in doing evil, and delight in the perversity of the wicked; 15 Whose ways are crooked, and who are devious in their paths;”

Wisdom is…from the LORD ( Proverbs 2:6-7a). It’s all from Him and for Him; in one sense we can kinda say that wisdom IS Him, it’s God’s guide to God, and godliness.

Paul the Apostle, speaking of Christ, wrote in:

Colossians 2:3 (NKJV) “In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

In this wisdom there is protection. HE Himself is a shield to those who walk wisely

Psalms 84:11 (NKJV) “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

It doesn’t mean we won’t get hit with hardships, it just means that we as His people, will only get hit with what He permits, and if He allows that pain, look for the purpose, for surely, He is our shield, He protects us.

He preserves us, God is our guard.

V. 9 mentions “righteousness” – we’ll know what’s right and wrong

V. 9 mentions “justice” – we’ll know who’s right and wrong

V. 9 also mentions equity – this is a little bit of both of the above, one translations say it’s to be “fair” – where there’s equity, there will be equality and impartiality.

In wisdom there is protection from the Evil man (12-15)

In Proverbs 2:12 the word “deliver” means to take away, to snatch away, it means to rescue from ruin; and that’s what God does for us when He wedges that wisdom into our hearts. And here’s an evil man that somehow made his way into your life; maybe you met him at work or at school. Maybe you grew up together, best friends, blood brothers, you started going to church together, but somehow, somewhere along the line this man left the paths of uprightness (v. 13) to walk in the ways of darkness.

That man can become a magnet to draw you away; maybe he’s got the money, and it looks like he’s having a lot of fun. How many have we seen people “fall away?” But a person who falls away doesn’t just fall away they drift away (Hebrews 2:1).

They’re not engaged in the Pursuit of wisdom.

They’re not really interested in the Person of wisdom 

So the enemy tries to use them to tempt you to go with that flow.

My prayer is that when this Covid trial is all said and done, that the church will somehow be stronger then when it all started…but sometimes you wonder, Lord who’s coming back?

A lot of it has to do with our influences and friends (eventually I had to come to the place where Jesus was my best friend; and I had to surround myself with godly friends – have you done that?)

Proverbs 12:26, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

Who’s your best friend?

Abide in Christ, stay on track, keep on believing, for there are those , “…who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,” (Proverbs 2:13) soberly heartbreaking.

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

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