Thursday, August 25, 2016

Genealogy of Noah

1 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood. . . . 32 These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.
Genesis 10:1 and 32, NKJV

Genealogy of Noah

Chapter 10 of Genesis consists mostly of the genealogy of Noah and his sons. Most of the chapter, then, consists of the names of the children of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. When I read through genealogies in the Bible it is a reminder that each and every person is known to God.

We have millions of people alive on our earth today, yet every single one of them is known to God. He knows their thoughts and He even knows the very intents of their hearts. So, even though years go quickly by in Genesis 10, each of the people mentioned--who just appear as names to us--was known by God.

At a couple of points in the chapter some commentary is given. For example, verses 8 through 10 tell us,  

Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord.” 10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

Cush was the son of Ham. We remember from the last chapter that the line of Ham was cursed. So, when we advance to the next chapter and read more of Nimrod and his leadership in Babel, we should not be too surprised by the results. 

The question we often ask is this, did the flood get rid of sin? No! Beginning with Noah, himself, we see that sin continued on the earth after the flood. As we read through these passages, however, let us remember the promise that God gave in Genesis 3:15. God, after the first sin, pronounced the solution to that sin.

Sin separates us from God, but through the Redeemer to come, Who would bruise Satan's head, we can be restored to complete fellowship with God. 

What about our children? Do we, as believers, have the hope of having Godly children? If we train them in the things of the Lord, will they follow Him? While we are charged by God to teach our children the Word of God, we, as parents, do not control the results of that teaching. We would expect that some, or maybe even most, will follow the Lord, but it is God who saves.

When we look at some of the great men of faith in the Word of God, it was not unusual to see some of their children not following in the footsteps of their Godly parents. What, then, are we to do?

First, train our children in the truths taught in God's Word. Second, pray that God will give us a consistent testimony before them. Third, pray that God will save them. Pray for your children all of the days of your life, no matter what their age may be. Even if they have left home years ago, let us keep a constant flow of prayer going to God on their behalf. No one else will ever love your children as you love them. So, no one else will pray as consistently for them as well.

We serve a great and loving God. In Him we live and move and have our being. In Him, alone, do we find peace, joy, and blessing. May our own personal genealogies be an example of God working graciously in the lives of our descendants.

God Bless You,

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sad Note!

18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
Genesis 9:18-23, NKJV

Sad Note!

We end Genesis 9 on a sad note. Is that not the way it is even in our day? It did not take very long after Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth left the ark for sin to rear its ugly head. 

After leaving the ark, Noah became a farmer. When you consider that he was in what was almost like a new world, it was a logical profession for him to choose. No modern advancements existed--the only tools they possessed were whatever they had taken with them on the ark.

We are told that Noah became drunk with wine and was uncovered in his tent. Upon seeing his father's nakedness, Ham told his brothers. Shem and Japheth then took a garment, laid it on their shoulders, and went backward and covered their father.

There is so much here that is not said, however, we are not going to add anything to this story. What Ham did was a great disgrace to his father, and he and his descendants suffered for it. When Noah awoke and discovered what had happened he pronounced a curse upon Ham (Canaan was the son of Ham). By pronouncing the curse upon Ham's son, we are to understand that this curse followed Ham's family from generation to generation.
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.”

Noah then pronounced a blessing upon Shem and Japheth.

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

We are living literally thousands of years after this event, and yet we still see the results of this curse on Ham and Canaan and the blessing given to Shem and Japheth.

Genesis 9 ends with this conclusion of Noah's life.

28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. 29 So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.

When we come to the next chapter of Genesis we will find a summary of the descendants of Noah.

Why do you think God chose to put this sad note in His Holy Word? Of course we cannot know the mind of God, but perhaps God was showing us that Noah, though a righteous man before God, was not perfect. 

We, as children of God, will continue to wrestle with our own sin all of the days of our lives upon this earth. One of the great blessings of heaven will be the fact that we will be released from our sin natures forever! What a great day that will be!

Genesis, the book of beginnings, has so much to teach us about life today in the 21st century. May we learn to love and serve this wondrous God who so faithfully provided for His people. May we understand that this is the same God we serve today. Go, today, and live faithfully for God, alone!

God Bless You,

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Rainbow

11 Thus I establish My covenant with you: Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood; never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said: “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: 13 I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. 14 It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; 15 and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 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 9:11-17, NKJV

The Rainbow

In our verses today, God re-establishes his covenant with Noah with the promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood. He then grants to Noah and his family a sign of that promise. God says that He will set His rainbow in the cloud as a sign of His covenant with Noah.

We tend to take rainbows for granted, do we not? Yet, even now in this, the 21st century, God is still maintaining His promise to Noah that He will never again destroy the earth with a flood. He, as in Noah's day, shares that promise with us through the visible sign of the rainbow in the clouds. So, the next time we see a rainbow, let us think of that promise that God made to Noah so very many years ago. 

When I think of the great mercy of God and His faithfulness that continues to us this many years later, I am wonderfully reminded of those beautiful verses we are so familiar with from the book of Lamentations, chapter 3. 

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-26, NKJV

We serve a wonderful, faithful God. The promises He made so very long ago still apply to us this day. How amazing is that? Truly God's faithfulness to us is greater than we can even comprehend. Therefore, as the writer of Lamentations expressed, we do hope in Him. God continues to be good to those who wait for Him--to the soul who seeks Him.

We do know that the earth will actually be destroyed by a fire at the end of time. But, in its place, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. From that time throughout all eternity, God's children will live with Him in great peace and joy.

This is so much more than we could ever deserve. Yet, the grace of Christ has made it possible for us. Through Christ's death and resurrection He has paved the way between us and God. Go to Him today--for truly His mercies are everlasting.

What an amazing God we serve.

God Bless You,

Monday, August 22, 2016

Instructions from God

So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
Genesis 9:1-5, NKJV

Instructions from God

The flood was over. It was time to advance forward, but first God gave some instructions to Noah and his family. 

First, God commanded Noah and his family to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Second, God noted that the fear and dread of man was on every other creature. Third, God reminded Noah that he was free to eat meat, but he must not eat the blood of the animals. Let us look at each of these instructions from God.

"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." Surely that must have seemed to be an impossible task. When Noah and his family looked around, they were surrounded by land. Though the animals would also be alive on the earth, they were the only people. Yet, here we are several thousand years later, and the earth has, indeed, been filled. There are very few places on this earth that remain mostly unpopulated.

Second, God placed the fear of man upon all animals: "On every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea." In other words, man was again, like as in the case of Adam and Eve, given dominion over all of the creatures. Though these same creatures had been protected by Noah and his family on the ark, yet now they lived in fear of Noah. This fear caused them to scatter, for they, too, needed to repopulate the earth with their kind.

Thirdly, God reminded Noah and his family that they were not to eat the blood of the animals. Not only would God demand a reckoning from the hand of every beast if they killed man, but God also required a reckoning from man if he ate the lifeblood of the beast. In other words, life is precious. All life is precious.

Oh, that we would understand that today. We have mistakenly placed more value on some than others. Babies in the womb are no longer protected, and the old and infirm are next. We have foolishly forgotten that God places value on all life--the life is in the blood. As such, those who spill the blood of humans will face a reckoning from God. If not on this earth, then at the end of time, God will require a reckoning from them.

Of all the instructions and commands God could have given to Noah as he faced the immense responsibility of repopulating the earth, these are the things that God deemed as most important.

Let us, today, seek the heart of God in all things. As children of God, let us be careful that we do not adopt the foolish and careless attitudes of the world regarding the life of other humans. May we see that all life is precious in God's sight. As He gave that life, so it is up to Him, alone, to determine when that life will end.

That is pretty clear teaching, yet, it is largely ignored today. What have we done? How have we so quickly removed ourselves from the clear teaching of God's Word? Let us remember that the Bible is God's manual for us. The Word of God is our manual of instructions for all of life. By His grace, may we truly fear God and keep His commandments.

God Bless You,


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Promise of God

20 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. 21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
22 “While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
Genesis 8:20-22, NKJV

Promise of God

In these verses from Genesis 8, we especially note two things. First, we note Noah's thankfulness to God, and second, we note the promise of God.  

In thankfulness to God, Noah built an altar to the LORD. If you will remember, Noah had taken two of every animal aboard the ark, and seven of every clean animal. The seven animals allowed Noah and his family to have food for the time they were in the ark, and now Noah had clean animals to offer in sacrifice to God. 

As God smelled the soothing aroma of the sacrifice, He said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done."

We have certainly seen many devastating floods. As a matter of fact, the southern United States, particularly in the state of Louisiana, is experiencing great floods today. However, we have the promise of God that He will never again destroy the entire earth with a flood. Though it is true, man left to himself is truly wicked, yet God will not destroy him in this way.

As a matter of fact, God continues with some of the most beautiful words of Scripture in verse 22.

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

We have the very promise of God that He will sustain this earth until its very last day. We will continue to see seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night. We know that the day God determines to remove His hand of protection upon the earth, all of these things will cease.

We know that man, in his great hatred of God, will so reach the point in his depravity that God will finally say, "Enough!" This time, however, no flood will destroy the earth. At this time, the Lord Jesus Christ will return as the triumphant King. He will destroy all of the forces of evil and will sweep in the Great Day of Judgment. All people from the beginning to the end of time will stand before our Judge, the Lord Jesus.

At this time, Jesus will gather His true children together. Those who never came to Christ will be sent to the Lake of Fire with the Devil and his angels. God will destroy this corrupted earth by fire. Christ, then, will create a new heaven and a new earth, totally uncorrupted by sin.

Here, on this new earth, He will place all of the redeemed. We will live in the new heavens and the new earth in complete safety and joy, forever! No fairytale could be written any better. Yet, this is no fairytale. This is the truth--God's truth.

The end, however, has not yet come. Today is still the day of salvation. Today the gates of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ are still open. If you have not yet done so, call upon Him today to save you. He is the Great Shepherd and the only Door of Salvation, In Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.

Let us, then, as the people of God, rest today in the promises of God. Let us serve Him joyfully, knowing that the days of this world are truly numbered. How we look forward to our entrance into God's eternal kingdom forever!

God Bless You,


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Time to Go Home

13 And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. 14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried.
15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.
Genesis 8:13-19, NKJV

Time to Go Home

Finally, after over a year, the earth was dry. Though the ark had been a place of safety and security, it was now time to go home. It was time for Noah, his family, and all of the animals to return to the earth. 

Wouldn't you have loved to be able to watch the scene unfold as first the humans and then all of the animals walked out of the ark? As they looked around, what did they see? They saw the blue sky, the green grass and trees, flowers were in bloom, and the warm sunshine brought hope to all of them. The animals must have scampered with joy at being released from their captivity.

How huge the earth must have seemed, and how small they must have felt. Only eight humans were alive and only two of each kind of animal. With such a small beginning, they were assigned the duty of populating and caring for the earth.

How have they done? Here we are a few thousand years later and one of our concerns is over-population. From such a small beginning, we have millions of people alive today on this earth and an unnumbered variety of animals, birds, and creeping things. 

In one sense, we could think of our time on this earth as being like that time when Noah and his family were all on the ark. This earth is not our true home, just like the ark was not their true home. Though it provided a place of safety and security for them during the time of the flood, yet when the earth was dried, they returned to the earth.

By the decree of God, we are alive on this earth. From before the beginning of time, God has decreed our beginning and our end. While on this earth, we have a job to do. Noah and his family were kept quite busy, while on the ark, caring for all of the animals, birds, and creatures. We, as children of God, have been specifically created by God and specially prepared to do the work He has created for us to do.

It is not proper for us to think too highly of ourselves and our abilities, for these abilities have been given to us by God. What a wonderful thought to know that God has a specific purpose for us. We are not here by chance, and we are not here for just our own pleasure or enjoyment.

May each of us find ourselves busily doing the job God has given to us to do. Yet, let us never forget that someday we will reach that moment in time when it is time to go to our true home in heaven. What a wonderful day that will be. How we look forward to that time when we will be reunited with our dear friends and family who have gone before. How wonderful it will be to meet these Bible characters with whom we are so familiar.

Let us, then, cheerfully go forth this day in the joy of the Lord doing the work He has given to us to do. May we faithfully serve the Lord until it is time for us, too, to go home!

God Bless You,


Friday, August 19, 2016

A Resting Place

So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. 10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. 11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 12 So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.
Genesis 8:6-12, NKJV

A Resting Place

If you will remember, Noah and his family had reached the tenth month in the ark before the mountain tops began to be visible. Now, 40 days later, Noah opened the window and sent out a raven which continued to fly back and forth until the waters dried up. He also sent out a dove to see if the waters had truly receded. However, the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned into the ark. 

Noah waited another seven days. This time, the dove did not return until the evening, and she returned with a freshly plucked olive leaf.  Not only was the earth beginning to dry, but the trees were growing. Noah waited another seven days and sent the dove out. This time, the dove no longer returned to the ark.

What a beautiful picture the dove paints for us. When she was finally able to find a resting place for the soul of her foot, she no longer returned to the ark. This thought has been beautifully pictured in the lyrics of the song, by Eliza Edmunds Hewitt (1851-1920), "My Faith Has Found a Resting Place."

  1. My faith has found a resting place,
    Not in device or creed;
    I trust the ever-living One,
    His wounds for me shall plead.
    • Refrain:
      I need no other argument,
      I need no other plea,
      It is enough that Jesus died,
      And that He died for me.
  2. Enough for me that Jesus saves,
    This ends my fear and doubt;
    A sinful soul I came to Him,
    He’ll never cast me out.
  3. My heart is leaning on the Word,
    The living Word of God,
    Salvation by my Savior’s name,
    Salvation through His blood.
  4. My great physician heals the sick,
    The lost He came to save;
    For me His precious blood He shed,
    For me His life He gave.

As believers, we, too, have found a resting place in the Lord Jesus Christ. No matter where we are and no matter where we go, the Lord Jesus Christ is always with us. As we lean upon Him and His Word, we are comforted, guided, and encouraged.

We, like the dove, had no place to rest our weary feet. Yet, when Christ saved us, He not only granted to us His great salvation, but He granted to us His watch care as well. There is no place on this earth where He is not to be found. We cannot hide from Him and we cannot be snatched from His care.

As we live in a world constantly at war with God, we are truly comforted by these thoughts. Like that dove, may we each find a resting place in Christ. Go to Him today for today is the day of salvation. Find in Him your joy, your peace, and your everlasting comfort.

God Bless You,