Monday, February 28, 2011

Genesis 12:2-3

“I will make you into a great nation, 
and I will bless you; 
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; 
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

The first promise, I will make you into a great nation, must have stunned, and possibly confused Abram, since he was already seventy-five and had no children at this point. I’m certain that Abram, even though he believed God, could have had no idea what this promise would mean. He could have never dreamed that this promise would reach so far – even into 2011!! This was the nation from which the Messiah would come – and within which all of us would eventually be counted. Amazing!

The second promise: I will make your name great… Do you see the irony of this when we look back to Genesis 11, in which the builders of the Tower of Babel were out to make a name for themselves? We learned then that our goal is to make God’s name great, not ours! But, here, God promises to make Abraham’s name great, because of Abraham’s faith!

The third promise? … all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

Apparently God likes to bless! In just these two verses, the word, “bless,” or a form of the word is used five times! Beth Moore says, in her study, The Patriarchs, “God’s purpose in blessing one is to bless many.” ALL the peoples on the earth were to be blessed through Abraham, because salvation was to come through his line.

The promise of salvation was not just to the Jews, but to the entire world! For God so loved the world we’re told in John 3:16. I find it interesting that the Jews never seem to have caught the evangelical fervor that this promise implies. Have you? We are blessed in order to be a blessing. Even as Abram was to be about the work of spiritual reproduction, so are we! And even as Abram could never have foreseen what God truly had planned, we cannot fathom what God longs to do through us and what He will do through us when we believe Him and go where He has called us to go – into all the world - the world of our families, our neighborhoods, our workplaces -  all beyond anything we could imagine.

One of my life verses is Ephesians 3:20 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us… My prayer this morning is that, as heirs to of the promises made to Abram, we will trust God to use us in ways that bless others way beyond the scope of our imagining!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Genesis 12:1 Part 2

Good morning, all!

Yesterday we finished by talking about Abram believing God as he followed God’s lead out of the comfort of Ur and into the unknown. As much as I want to move ahead in Genesis, I feel a need to step out for today and talk about Abraham and his faith as seen in the New Testament. He is known as the father of the faithful (Romans 4:16), although we will see many instances where he seems more like the father of the faltering. But what about him earned him so many verses in the roll call of faith in Hebrews 11?

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see… By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. ( Hebrews 11:1,8)

In our walk with God, it’s not “seeing is believing”, rather believing is seeing – being absolutely convinced that even though we can’t see Him with our eyes, and even though we aren’t given a blueprint of our future, yet we believe that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Heb. 11:6) It was this faith of Abraham, not any works that he did, that earned him the adjective of “righteous.”

In the letter to the Galatians, Paul admonishes the Galatians for falling back into the pattern of trying to earn God’s favor by keeping the law. Paul points to Abraham as the example of how works do not justify us before God:

So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Galatians 3:5-9)

And in Romans 3: 21-24,27-28, and continuing into chapter 4:1-3, Paul makes it clear that it is NOT our goodness or works that saves us, for we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone:

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus… Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Paul is reminding us that all of the good things that Abraham did were NOT what justified him to God – however it IS our good works that justifies us to men. According to Jesus in Matthew 5:16, when men see our good works, they glorify out father in heaven. Our works demonstrate our faith to the world – but it is our faith in the completed work of Christ on the cross that saves us.

WHEW! Sorry this was so long this morning. Just felt that God wanted someone to know that she/he can quit striving – quit trying to earn God’s love. Relax in the love and grace that He freely offers in Christ. When Jesus died on the cross he said, “It is finished!” There is nothing we can add to what He did on our behalf. Just believe it and receive it!!! He loves you just as you ARE TODAY! But He also loves you too much to leave you this way! ☺ If you are having trouble believing this, just ask God to help you believe – He even does that!

We’ll be back in Genesis again Monday. Blessings to you all!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Genesis 12:1

Good morning, dear friends!

I am so excited to be in this chapter, at last! Here we meet our spiritual ancestor, our adopted spiritual father, Abraham! And he's not some unreal hero with whom we can't relate. He's as real and flawed as we are. He was by no means perfect, but he was called by God to do two things:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.

Do you see the two verbs in that sentence? God called Abraham to leave and to go. Leave what and go where?? We saw from the last chapter that Abram was living with his family in Ur, an ancient city in the southern part of Mesopotamia. Apparently it was quite the wealthy city of at least 200,000 - one which was a center of worship for many gods, but particularly devoted to the patron god of the moon. In Joshua 24:2, we read,

Joshua said to the people, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Long ago your ancestors, including Terah, the father of Abraham and Nahor, lived beyond the Euphrates River, and they worshiped other gods."

So Abram was raised in the heart of polytheistic idol worship. He was a city boy (according to Jon Courson, he was actually about 50 when first called), who was very comfortable in his neighborhood. Beth Moore, in her study, The Patriarchs, says, "Like many of us, he knew too little of the more to be dissatisfied with the less." (emphasis mine) But it was this environment that God calls him to leave. I'm hoping you are beginning to grasp the significance of Abram's choice to leave everything and everyone he knew to follow the one true God. You have to wonder what kind of supernatural encounter Abram had with God that made him want to obey the call. The Bible is not specific as to what Abram saw and heard. We know about the encounters that Moses and Isaiah and Paul had, but we're not given details about this one. In Acts 7:2-3, we catch a glimpse from Stephen's testimony:

Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’ So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died.

He apparently saw our God in all of His glory! WOW! Beth Moore reminds us that "out of this holy confrontation monotheism was reborn in a heinously idolatrous world culture. This encounter was thus one of the most pivotal moments in human history." I love that!

Now, God also called Abram to go. Go where? "... to the land I will show you." He was being asked to step out, without a map or GPS, and to just follow God's lead! We know from the last verse in chapter 11 that they were being led to Canaan. And we also know that when they came to the very door of Canaan, they instead settled in Haran, and tarried there until Abram's father, Terah, died. So even from the get go, Abram delays going the full distance in obedience. However, God does not give up on Abram. He surely saw something in Abram that made Him choose Abram to become the father of nations. What was it? Was it because Abram was deeply spiritual in nature and had been seeking the true God daily since childhood? I like Beth Moore's take on this: "We have no biblical reason to believe Abram and Sarai were looking for another god, but God was undoubtedly looking for them." This is the key. We don't choose God, He chooses us!!! He is ALWAYS the initiator in this relationship we have with Him. However, our part is to BELIEVE God. And this is what Abram did. When God called him to leave, he did!

What is God calling us to leave? Old habits? A bad temper? A problem with alcohol? A bad relationship? A comfortable job? And where is He calling us to go??? Maybe you have done the leaving part, but your having trouble with the going ... Like Abram, we are being asked to trust Him and to step out of our comfort zones into something new - something more! This blog seems to be something like that for me!!! Let's not be afraid to follow! Ye gads! We only looked at one verse!!! This is such a great story - can't wait to continue!

Love to you all 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Genesis 11:10-31

Good morning, gang!

This morning we'll cover the remainder of Genesis 11, where we see God narrowing His plan to one nation. If you look back at Gen 9:26, you'll see that Noah blessed Shem in particular. Shem's line would be known for its relationship with their covenant God. In Beth Moore's study of Genesis, she makes a point of looking at the names of God. She says the Jews had such reverence for the name of God that they called Him Ha-Shem, which means "the Name." In this genealogy of Shem's family, we'll note a couple of things. First, note that the life expectancy is going down here. Men are no longer living 800-900 years. Frankly, I see this as an extreme act of grace! Why would we want to tarry here when we have a heavenly home awaiting us?? Also, the men are having their children at much younger ages. This will make Abraham's fertility issue stand out.

There are a few names of note in this list of Shem's family. In verses 14-16 we read about Eber. The name Eber and the word "Hebrew" have the same root that means "to cross over." My pastor loves to talk about the need to cross over the line, to make that definitive decision for Christ (which is why our church is named "Crossline"). The Hebrews lived in a pagan world of idol worship. They were called to cross over from that world to the one true God. If you have never made that decision to cross over, why not? What is holding you back???

In verse 24, we're introduced to Terah, the father of Abram. The meaning of the name Terah is not clear, but it is generally considered to mean "to loiter, wander, or delay." In verses 27-32 we read about Terah and his family:

This is the account of Terah’s family line. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. And Haran became the father of Lot. While his father Terah was still alive, Haran died in Ur of the Chaldeans, in the land of his birth. Abram and Nahor both married. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife was Milkah; she was the daughter of Haran, the father of both Milkah and Iskah. Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Haran, they settled there.
Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Haran.

These names will become more important to us later, but note that Lot was Abram's nephew. His father, Haran, had died, so he left Ur with his uncle, Abram. Now, in chapter 12, we'll read about this decision to move out of Ur to Canaan, but I found it interesting that Terah left Ur with Abram. Abram was called to go to Canaan, but "when they came to Haran, they settled there." Haran is just north of Canaan, and it's not until Terah dies that Abram actually moves into Canaan. Did Terah delay this move? His name indicates he may have... Also in these final verses, we're introduced to Sarai. I just can't wait to read about Abram and Sarai!

So, a lot of Bible trivia here. But not one word of God's Word is superfluous! God has scattered the people who arrogantly tried to make a name for themselves. Now we'll see how God will make a name for Himself through this one line of Abraham! As Christians, this is our spiritual family tree. We have been grafted into this line! We'll see it's a pretty dysfunctional family, but it's ours! And isn't that true of our own physical family lines??? :) Thank you, LORD, for this opportunity to learn about our family history!

Have a great morning! 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Genesis 11:5-9

Good morning, friends!

This morning we'll look at God's response to the efforts of the people to build a tower to the heavens to make a name for themselves. They had determined in their hearts to defy God's command to scatter over the face of the earth.

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” (vs. 5-7)

Uh-oh! Don't mess with God! Just as the people had used the phrase, "Come, let us..., " God now turns that phrase back on them as He determines to thwart their plans. God points to the destructiveness of their unity of purpose, since it was defiant. When He says "nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them," it's like He's saying, "There isn't anything they won't do. The evil imaginations of these people will run wild if not stopped." So, even in judgment, God is being merciful here. He is saving them from themselves by confusing their language. Beth Moore, in her study, The Patriarchs, says that God is basically saying in the language used here, "We will un-brick what they have bricked." I love that! The plans of men are worthless and come to nothing without the LORD!

Jon Courson says that we have a universal language now on earth: mathematics, which is the basis of all computer language. We can now communicate to anyone anywhere by means of a computer. If I write something in English to someone in Japan, the computer can translate it into Japanese! Courson writes of how the use of technology can be and is used for all sorts of evil imaginations. Surely we live in an era when men are convinced that "nothing is impossible" for them by their own efforts, and nothing is too awful for them to do via computer! In the time of the Tower of Babel, God had had enough!

So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth. (vs. 8-9)

The word Babel meant "Gateway to God," which you would think would be a good thing. However, it demonstrated an attempt to reach God on their own merits, through a gateway of their own building, and it also displayed their defiance in their purpose to remain in the city rather than scatter. Therefore the word came to mean "confusion." Defiance of God leads to chaos. If you feel your life is circling out of control, could it be because you are working under your own power, trying to do something on your own, apart from God? Are you wanting God to conform to your plans, rather than conforming to His for you? That will only lead to confusion, depression, and destruction! Jesus is the only "gate" provided by God (John 10:7; Acts 4:12). God scattered these people since they would not do it themselves. And He will do the same to us. If we refuse to obey, He will often, in love, remove us from the situation in which we've firmly planted ourselves so that we will seek Him alone. He loves us too much to leave us to our own devices!

God has a plan, and it will not be thwarted! Tomorrow we'll look at how He narrowed the plan through one nation. Tomorrow we're introduced to Abram (Abraham)! Can't wait!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Genesis 11:1-4

Good morning, all!

Last week we looked at the lines of the three sons of Noah. This week we will see how God narrowed the nations down to the one nation through which He would make Himself known and bless all other nations. But we’re first going to see what happened that led Him to choose one nation. Once again, in chapter 11, we witness the wickedness of man in the story of the Tower of Babel:

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (vs. 1-4)

Because these people had a common language, they were unified and able to accomplish much – in rebellion against God! Notice their movement eastward. If you look back at Gen 3:23, you’ll remember that when Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, they went east. This eastward movement indicates a moving away from God. They “settled” in the plain of Shinar, Nimrod’s territory.

This passage is all about self-effort and self-promotion. Look at the focus of their conversation: “Come, let’s… Come, let us… ourselves… we…make a name for ourselves…” It was all about them! They were so sure of their own abilities, they thought they could completely ignore God. They even built their tower out of man-made materials rather than stone. Like the third pig, they built their tower of bricks, using tar – (or “slime” in the KJV) for mortar. With hubris, they tried to reach the heavens by their own efforts with a goal of making a name for themselves, not for God. In their rebellion, they wanted to “not be scattered over the face of the whole earth,” in direct defiance of God’s command to Noah and his family in Genesis 9:1.

What a trap for each of us! We all seek to make a name for ourselves. Nothing speaks to this more than our need to put our every thought out there in cyber world through social networking. It can be a terrific way to reconnect with friends, but it can also be self-indulgent. It’s the reason I hesitated so long to blog this study. This cannot be about making a name for me! It has to be to about pointing others to the One whose name is above all others. Please pray with me that I never lose sight of that mission! LORD, may your name, alone, be glorified in all we do and say and think! Amen!

Have a great Presidents’ Day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Genesis 10

Good morning, all!

Today's chapter is called the "Table of Nations," and tells of the beginnings of cultural anthropology. The Flood is over and now the three sons of Noah begin to move out to "fill the earth." Now, if you are interested in finding some male baby names, there is quite a selection here. Forget "Caeden," when you can name your son "Gomer" or "Ashkenaz!" Lots of people prefer just to skip right over these genealogies, but there are some important nuggets in here.

First are the sons of Japheth. These settled in the areas of Europe and Russia and Persia (current Iran). Magog, present-day Russia, figures in future Bible prophecy, invading Israel from the north. Meschech is the ancient name for Moscow. Ashkenaz is the group that settles in present-day Germany and Eastern Europe. After the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, when the Jews were scatterered, those who settled in Eastern Europe became the Ashkenazi Jews. Those who settled in the Mediterranean area are the Sephardic Jews. Another descendant mentioned under Japheth is Tarshish, generally considered the area of Spain. You may remember that this was the intended destination of Jonah when he was trying to run away from God. This was the opposite direction from Ninevah, which is where the whale dumped him!

The sons of Ham are mentioned next. These people settled in Africa and the Middle East (Canaan). The Canaanites were so perverted, as Jon Courson points out, God finally annihilated them, but not before He gave them four centuries to repent. God's grace is ALWAYS offered before judgment!

Notable among Ham's descendants is Nimrod. According to Courson, the name literally means "rebel." Certainly, Nimrod is the prototype of the antichrist to come:

Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the LORD.” The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city. (vs 8-12)

Note that he was not only a great warrior, but a builder of cities. On Monday we will read about the Tower of Babel that was built in the area of Shinar, mentioned above. This is the area of Babylon and Assyria, two empires that carried the Jews into captivity. Another people to note is the "Philistines" in verse 14. Remeber Goliath? He was one!

Finally, the third group mentioned is the people from Shem, the Semites. These are the Jews and Arabs (note "Eber" in verse 24, which is the root in "Hebrew"). This is the line from which comes Abraham, and eventually the Messiah, Jesus. WOW! A lot of names, with so much history!!! Now, wasn't that fun?? Have a great weekend pondering how our great God has moved throughout history to fulfill His plans - including the ones He has for you!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Genesis 9:18-28

Good morning, dear friends!

This final passage in Genesis reveals a sorry episode in the life of Noah - and don't we all have "sorry" episodes in our lives at some point. One of the things that truly blesses me about the Bible is that all of the people in it are REAL people with stories I can relate to. If these were perfect heroes, it would be so discouraging, knowing we could never match up. But our beloved Bible heroes were flawed by sin, just as we are. After hundreds of years of faithfully walking with God in righteousness, Noah has an embarrassing moment .

Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. (vs.20-21)

Ye gads! He passed out naked! Jon Courson's commentary says that the original language makes it clear that his nakedness is tied to immoral behavior of some sort - and, frankly, I don't want to know! However, it is typical that when things are tough (going through rough waters in an ark) and we desperately need God, we walk closely by His side, but when things settle down, and we are humming along, we tend to get complacent - and that's when we are vulnerable. Now, getting drunk isn't the worst thing - it's what we DO when we are drunk that is the problem. I am always telling mothers of teenage girls that they should tell their daughters that the best form of birth control is to NOT drink!!! NOTHING good comes out of drunkenness. At the very least, we say things we should never say when we are drunk. At the extreme, families break up, jobs are lost, people are killed because of alcohol.

Now the point of this passage is not so much Noah's sin, but his sons' reactions. Ham apparently saw his father's state, and he immediately told his brothers. Don't we just love to run and spread the news of someone's downfall? What would the appropriate response be? Well, Shem and Japheth did the loving thing! They covered his nakedness. Notice that they would not even look upon it themselves, but backed in with a garment stretched between them (which would also prevent anyone else from looking in the tent as they backed in), and covered their father. 1 Peter 4:8 tells us that love covers a multitude of sins. This was the gracious act of Shem and Japheth. Wouldn't you rather be a Shem or Japheth to someone who has fallen, rather than be Ham the reporter?? I've bee a Ham too many times! LORD, help me to cover the sins of others in grace and mercy!

The repercussions of Ham's actions were fully visited upon his children! When Noah discovered what had happened, he cursed Ham's son, Canaan. Canaan became the father of one of the most evil cultures in history. God eventually wiped them out! What we do affects our children. Don't you cringe when you see one of your children displaying one of your unattractive traits - maybe your sarcastic nature or your temper???

On the other hand, Shem and Japheth were blessed by Noah:

“Praise be to the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend Japheth’s territory; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.” (vs. 26-27)

Tomorrow, we'll look at just how these three lines of Noah turned out - and how his cursing and blessings played out.

Love to you all!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Genesis 9:8-17

Hello, gang!

This morning we will look at one of the seven covenants between God and His people in the Bible. The first was the Adamic Covenant (re: Adam's responsibility to God and creation and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God's provision for sin in the promised Seed in Gen 3:15). The covenant in today's reading is the Noahic Covenant, which includes the promise of God to never again destroy the whole earth through flood:

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” (vs.8-11)

A covenant is a formal promise or pledge between two parties. Yesterday I wrote of Jon Courson's idea that this covenant has three parts: diet, discipline, and declaration. The latter part is in the promise of the rainbow, which God said would be the sign of this covenant. The promise of the rainbow has two parts: judgement and grace. The rainbow reminds us of the time when God judged and destroyed the earth because of the wickedness of men. In 2 Peter 2:5, Peter affirms that this flood was a warning to us that God does and will judge sin. However, the rainbow refers us back to this covenant that God made to never judge the entire earth again through a flood. You can imagine that, had God not made this promise, Noah and his sons might have panicked every time it started to drizzle! But note that the rainbow would also be a reminder to God:

And God said... Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” (vs. 16-17)
God keeps His covenants and He expects us to keep ours, as well. What covenants have you made in your life? To your spouse in the marriage covenant? God takes that one very seriously! Have you made a covenant of time commitments? Can you be counted on to keep them? What covenants have you made with your employer? With your aging parents? With your children? With your friends? Can they count on you to follow through?

We have rain on the way again. I'll be looking for a rainbow and remembering that our covenant God keeps His promises.

Have a great day!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Genesis 9: 1-7

Good morning, friends

In this next chapter, God pronounces the Noahic Covenant.  According to Jon Courson, it has three parts: diet, discipline, and declaration (we’ll look at the latter and at the significance of covenants tomorrow).

Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.  The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you.  Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”  (vs 1-3)

As Noah and his sons begin their new life on the changed landscape, God seems to indicate here a new relationship between man and animals.  First, they will now fear man.  From the beginning, man would rule over the animals (Gen 1:26,28).  Now, however, animals will fear man – possibly because now man will be able to eat them! 

I don’t know about you, but I often thank God for food!  I’m so grateful for the variety He has given us!   I love the fruits of summer, and there is nothing like a wonderful slice of prime rib or salmon.  Yum!  God has given it all to us for food.  Thank you, LORD! However, there was one exception given to Noah and his sons: 

But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood in it.  And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting… Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. (vs. 4-6)

Because man is made in the image of God, an attack on a man is an attack against God.  God exacts strict discipline for murder:  the death penalty.  This is the first foundation of government given by God.  Governments are given to keep order, and capital punishment is given here as the basis for checking human behavior. 

Finally, in verse 7, God repeats the marching orders for Noah and his sons:  get busy repopulating this planet!  I think that’s an order men love to hear!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Genesis 8:15-22

Good morning, all!

Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives." (verses 15-16)

Yesterday we talked about the patience of Noah as he waited for God to tell him is was time to come out of the ark. Anyone who has been on a long car ride with children knows how anxious everyone is to reach their destination after being cooped up together for hours in a car. Siblings have been poking and bugging each other and whining, "Mom, make Bobby stop touching me!" or "Mom, Susie's copying me!" Everyone wants out! Well, the sons of Noah were grown and married, so I doubt they had been bugging each other in quite that way, but I would not be surprised if there had been some wrangling over other issues: "Hey, Shem, it's your turn to clean the elephant pen! I did it yesterday!" or "Dad, tell Ham to get over here and help with the cows!" Possibly there were some issues between their wives. It would be nearly impossible for four women to be together for all that time without some hurt feelings! They had been closed in there together for a LONG time! At any rate, the time had finally come for them to leave the ark! Yippee! Party time! What would they do first? They worshiped God!

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. (verse 20)

Jon Courson says that all that time in the ark had "altared" Noah, so the first thing he did was build an altar to worship God. There are many things he could have done: he could have partied, or he could have gotten busy building a shelter, or he could have taken a hike to scout things out and get a lay of the land. Instead, even though he had many tasks ahead of him, he took the time to thank God and offer sacrifices of worship. There will always be much to do until the day we die. We will never run out of reasons why we're too busy to go to church or to take time for prayer and Bible study. It's a matter of attitude and priorities. Believe me, after having been saved from the utter destruction that had just taken place, Noah and his family had enormous reasons for gratitude. I believe that they were in such awe of what God had done that they probably fell to their knees the minute they got off that boat!

Courson points out that Jesus said (in a response to Satan at the temptation in the wilderness, Matt 4:10), "Worship the LORD your God, and serve him only." Courson tells us to note the order. Worship comes before service. In fact, worship IS our highest service. Worship blesses God and it encourages us. Look at God's response to Noah's sacrifice of worship:

The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” [Are you singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness" yet? :) ]

The flood had not wiped out the evil inclination of our sinful hearts. But the sweet-smelling sacrifice of Noah's offering covered over the stench. In the same way, Jesus' sacrifice covers over our sin, and God looks on us with favor because of it.

There is so much more to say! We can never thank Him enough for all of the ways in which He has saved us - not just from Hell, but from bad relationships, horrid decisions, devastating health problems, financial disasters... He is so good!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Genesis 8:1-15

Good morning, all!

The first verse of chapter 8 is wonderful! But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark... These verses that start with conjunctions are interesting. I had a friend who once studied all of the "buts" of the Bible, because they always indicate some kind of contrast. This "but" refers us back to the complete destruction and the fact that the flood lasted so long. So, while Noah and his family and the animals were floating along in the darkness of the ark, not knowing what was happening outside of the ark (they had no Internet or Fox News Alerts), God had never forgotten them. He had been thinking of them constantly (Psalm 139: 17-18). Jon Courson writes in his commentary here that in times of darkness, when we feel like God is silent, we need to trust in the fact that He sees and remembers us - and WE need to remember that, even if He seems silent now, "He spoke loudly and clearly for all eternity when He laid down His life for me."

What really struck me this morning as I read this section was the fact that Noah so completely waited on God! Look at the slow process of waiting while the earth was drying out. Verses 3-5 say:

The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down, and on the seventeenth day of the seventh month the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible.

Just reading these verses makes me antsy. Verse 6 says he waited another 40 days and sent forth first a raven, then the first dove. No luck. He waited seven more days, then sent out the dove that had the olive branch, our symbol of peace ever since. I'm imagining by this time they all were soooooo wanting off that boat! But look at verses 12-14:

He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

So, Noah and his family ran skipping an jumping out of the ark, right? No! Oh my goodness! He WAITED! It's not until verses 15 & 16 that we finally read, Then God said to Noah, “Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives."

AMAZING!!! We always hear about the patience of Job, but I'm flabbergasted by the patience of Noah here. What an example to us of complete obedience and trust! He did not take a step out of that ark until the LORD called Him out! How often do we mess things up by running ahead of God??? God's timing is certainly not ours, His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. God is God and we are not! He could have sent any number of judgments to destroy the earth within seconds, yet He took what seems to be a very long time to accomplish this one. God had a reason for keeping Noah and His family in that ark for so long. God was doing something in them. He needed to make sure that they learned to trust in Him alone, because He was starting over with mankind. Noah and his family would be the ones to lead. Oh, that we would trust Him in our dark times; that we would wait patiently for His call; that we would allow Him to do the work He wants to do in us for His purposes in HIS time.

I will never again look at a picture of Noah and the ark, with the two giraffes sticking their heads out of the window, in the same way again! :)

Love you all!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Genesis 7:17-24

Good morning, dear friends!

I am so blessed by today's reading, which may surprise you since it's all about the world drowning in judgment! However, there are several things about this reading that encouraged me.

First, God does what He says He's going to do! He faithfully keeps His promises - all of them - even those that promise destruction. As a teacher, it drives me crazy to see inconsistent discipline - because it is NOT discipline at all. If a teacher, principal, or parent sets a standard with a consequence, then does not follow through with the consequence, the children learn that this adult can't be trusted. A just God must keep His Word - and ours does. He told Noah to build the ark, because He was about to judge the earth with a flood. And He did what He said He would do! Verses 11 and 12 tell us:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

So the flood came not just from above with the rains, but from the depths of the earth, springs burst forth! After forty days and nights, we read in verses 19 and 20 that the water rose to such heights that it covered the highest mountains to a depth of more than 20 feet! This was a global flood - a cataclysmic event. Had it merely been a local flood, as some want to suggest, God would have just told Noah to move! Cultures all over the world have stories about a flood. It was so monumental that Noah's family never forget it and told and retold this story. I was thinking this morning how, even though less than 100 years have passed since WWII, there are people committed to denying the Holocaust. So a worldwide story that persists about the flood surely lends credence to it. Now, of course, I KNOW it's true, because God's Word says it - I don't need eyewitness accounts. There is plenty of geological, paleontological, and cultural evidence. But I just need to know that God said so!

Verse 23 sums it all up: Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark. 

Now, here is the VERY cool part. The word for "wiped out" used here, is the same word used in Isaiah 43:25 for "blot out": I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Just as God wiped out every living thing on the face of the earth, until they were no more, He has wiped out our sin on the cross!!! It is GONE! How encouraging is that?

Two last encouraging things for today: Noah, his family, and all of the creatures in the ark were left. They had been shut in, sealed in salvation, just as we have been. And don't forget verse 24: The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days. The earth was flooded for a total of five months! However, note that it had an ending! No matter what trial you are in the midst of right now, it will have an ending. We know, because we've read the end of the Book, that our ending is a happy one. I read a devotional this morning that spoke to this very thing. The writer had just completed reading a long novel about the Middle Ages (I'm guessing one of Ken Follett's from her description), and she talked about how hard it was to read the book (lots of graphic stuff, very evil antagonists), but that she was glad she did not put the book down, because in with the bad there was some good, and the ending had a just and happy resolution. It reminded her that our life stories have many pages - and if we just look at one we might get discouraged. But God is still writing our stories. Hang on until the glorious ending! Our faithful God keeps His promises!

Have a great morning!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Genesis 7:1-16

Good morning, all!

This morning's verses tell us about the gathering of the animals and the entrance into the ark. Note that God told Noah to bring "seven of every kind of clean animal." Why was this? Well, Noah would need them so he could offer sacrifices and for food after the flood. Up until this time, it seems that people were vegetarian, but after the flood, God tells Noah, Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. (Gen 9:3)

Noah and his family are given seven days advance notice that the flood is on its way (verse 4). What if we were given seven days advance notice that the LORD's was returning? How would you prepare? Whom would you call? What would you do differently? How much TV would you watch? Would you change your choice of reading material? I'm trying to imagine what Noah and his family actually did during that time. What about Noah's neighbors? Did he make last-ditch efforts to try to persuade them to believe? Or was he just way too busy getting his family and the animals in and settled? The Bible does not give us specifics on these details; it just tells us in verse 5 that Noah did all that the Lord commanded him. Of course he did!

We know that, on their own, all of the animals came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded. At least they had the good sense to obey God's call. It is amazing how the animal kingdom always obeys God and does what they are supposed to do. Courson gives the example of the arctic terns who fly off to Hawaii for the winter, leaving their young behind, because the young birds aren't ready to fly yet. Somehow, several months later, after these young birds have gained enough strength to fly, they head straight to Hawaii, without a map to guide them, to meet up with the folks! The animal kingdom obeys its Maker!

One thing the Bible is very specific about here is the date that Noah and his family entered the ark, which was also the day the rains came: In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, on the seventeenth day of the second month... On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark. Now, you have to wonder how Noah was able to convince his entire family to enter the ark. Courson has a topical study on this entitled "Get on Board... Your Family Will Follow." We know that salvation is an individual choice - we cannot believe for anyone else. However, we can trust God with our family, and be the best leader we can be. Noah began preparing this ark even before his first son was born. His children grew up watching their dad pound nails into that big ship in the backyard. They SAW that Noah trusted and obeyed God every single day of his life. Who we ARE in front of our own children, whether they are toddlers or grown children with their own families, speaks volumes to them. Do they see that God's Word is a priority for us? Do they see us trusting God through the really hard times? Do they hear us praising Him and telling others about His goodness in our lives? Do they see us humbly repenting when we fail? Then confidently moving on in grace? Do we then extend that same grace to them when they fail? We may not live to see our children and grandchildren following us into the ark, but we must walk every day as if they will fall in line and trust God with that result.

Finally, the very best six words of the day are in verse 16: Then the LORD shut him in. It is GOD who saves us and seals us in His family. We do not close the door ourselves - He does it! Don't you just love that? Do I hear any "Amens?" :)

Have a great day! Let us lead in a way that others will follow us today!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Genesis 6:14-22 PART 2

Good morning, gang!

I wanted to revisit the verses that talk about how Noah was to build the ark, because there is some significance in them. Because most of us have known this story since childhood (probably first saw it on flannel board as toddlers...), we tend to see it in a cartoon version in our minds. We see a round Noah with a long white beard and some cute pairs of animals, including two giraffe heads sticking out of the top of the ark! This makes it harder for us to grasp the reality, I think. So I wanted to look at some of the technical things about the ark.

First, if we assume 18 inches to a cubit (which seems to be, according to Jon Courson, what most accept), then the ark was about 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high, with three stories, or about 97,000 square feet. Noah was told to coat the ark with "pitch," inside and out. Courson says this word "pitch" is the Hebrew word, kapher, which is translated in seventy other passages in the Old Testament as "atonement." Noah and his family were being saved from destruction and "sealed" in with this pitch, even as we are "sealed" in Christ through His atonement for our sin. Noah was to put in a window, for light, and only one door on the side. As Courson says, there was no back entrance or emergency exit. There was only one way in, even as Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father.

Jon Courson says that the 97,000 square feet was the equivalent to 520 boxcars. He calculates more than 35,000 species of animals, including reptiles and birds, with an average size of a full-grown sheep, would take up only about 240 boxcars, leaving plenty of room for Noah and his family and the food and supplies.

Again, verse 22 tells us, Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Courson wonders, what if Noah had not obeyed? We would not be here! But his obedience points to an even greater obedience of an even greater Carpenter: Jesus' obedience unto death on the cross. Courson finds these parallels: Noah held a hammer in his hand, while Jesus absorbed the blows of a hammer upon his hands; Noah built with wood, while Jesus was pinned to wood; Noah constructed a door, while Jesus said, "I am the Door;" Noah covered the ark in pitch, while Jesus covers us with His blood. All who entered the ark were saved. Jesus is our Ark, and all who would be saved must enter into a relationship with Him.

What happens if you and I don't obey God? What are the effects to those around us? Noah's obedience saved his family and the animals. What might happen if you and I did not obey God in giving up whatever he's asking us to give up? What if we don't do what we know He's been nudging or outright telling us to do? And conversely, what would happen in our families if we decided to obey - if they saw in us a wholehearted giving over of ourselves to God (Rom 12:1-2)? Hmmm...

Tomorrow we'll read about the animals and Noah's family entering the ark.

Have a great day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Genesis 6:8-22

Good morning, all!

I'm going to revisit verse 8 from yesterday: But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. The KJV says, But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Courson talks about how Noah wasn't the only one who was being shown grace, God's unmerited favor. God extends His grace to all - Noah was the one who found it, because he was seeking it in faith. God delayed the judgment, extending grace to any who would receive it, for a hundred years, while Noah built the ark. Any one of Noah's neighbors could have believed Noah's message that God was about to bring judgment.

The Bible tells us, Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. (vs. 9) Hebrews 11:7 says, By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

When you think what the rest of the world was like then, it is remarkable that Noah stood alone and faithfully walked with God! But God did not just love Noah - He loved the whole world. And how painful for him to see, as verse 12 tells us, how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on the earth had corrupted their ways.

We don't quite get how very holy God is. It is the only attribute of God that is repeated three times (which was significant for its emphasis). When the prophet Isaiah saw the vision of the LORD seated on his throne (Isaiah 6), he saw the seraphim flying above the throne, singing, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is filled with his glory." Notice that it is not "Love, love, love..." Even as we know that God is love, it was his holiness that was the most outstanding trait praised by the seraphim. Isaiah was immediately filled with an awareness of his own terrible sinfulness, and knew that he was "undone." God cannot abide sin - and the consequences of our sin is so great, the damage so widespread. We can never fool ourselves into thinking that what we do does not affect others! In the case of Noah's time, it had affected the entire earth (including nature), to the point that 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. (verse 13)

Sin is serious business. Yet grace is greater than all our sin! This truly is the difference between all other faiths and Christianity. All other faiths require that men DO things, whether good deeds, meditations, gain more knowledge - whatever. Christianity is the only faith that says is is all "by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone." Period. You cannot do anything to deserve it - you just have to receive it through faith. And even our faith is a gift! (see Ephesians 2:8-10)

Noah found grace, and when God called him to build the ark (note the very specific directions God gave him), God said, But I will establish my covenant with you... God knew that he could count on Noah to obey Him, because Noah had a history of walking with God. And sure enough, verse 22 says, Noah did everything just as God commanded him. Wouldn't you love to have that said of you???

Lots to think about! Hope you all have a restful weekend. For those of you that are passionate about it, enjoy SuperBowl Sunday! I only just realized this morning, when watching the news, that it is in Dallas!!! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Genesis 6:1-8

Good morning, all!

The first 7 verses of this chapter deal with the appalling plunge into depravity in the world that causes God to send the Flood in judgment.

When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty year

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (verses 1-4)

I'm grateful for commentaries that explain these verses, because I'm immediately wondering who the "sons of God" are. Jon Courson says the Hebrew phrase for "sons of God" is benai elohim, and that every time the phrase is used in the Old Testament, it refers to angels. There are two groups of angels: those who do God's work and fallen angels, or demons. Jon Courson believes that these were demons who actually had sexual relations with human women, which resulted in the birth of the nephiliim, which is the Hebrew word for "fallen ones." This word is translated as "giants" in the KJV. Courson believes that these fallen angels were on a mission from Lucifer "to pollute the seed of women to such a degree that the promise of Genesis 3:15 would be thwarted." And, certainly, Satan's goal throughout history has been to somehow stop God's plan!

How bad must it have been if women were engaging in sex with demons?? Yet, as I read this, I immediately thought of the current obsession with all things vampire!!! Young girls are completely fascinated with the idea of having relationships with vampires. So much of what is on TV and in movies focuses on such bizarre relations. Hard-core porn is everywhere and makes billions of dollars every year. Why doesn't the LORD just fold up this planet and toss it out???

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. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 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.” (verses 5-7)

My Bible says that God's heart "was filled with pain." God knew when He created man as a being with free will that He was going to be rejected by many (most). He knew what the choices would be, and because He is a righteous and holy God, He could not put up with the corruption on earth. But He also knew that allowing men free will would be worth the cost because of those who would willingly choose Him: But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD. (verse 8) There was Noah - in the midst of it all. And Noah was worth it all in God's view. You and I were worth it in His view! Even with all the evil in our own hearts, God loves us, and it gives Him great pleasure that we chose to respond to Him in faith. Jesus bore that pain on the cross so that we might become His righteousness. He loves us that much! WOW!

Tomorrow we'll look at this amazing man, Noah. I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Genesis 6:1

Happy Groundhogs Day!

Apparently Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today, which means an early spring. That would be good news to our friends and family who are dealing with this incredible snowstorm that is blanketing the country! Did you see that poor Queensland, Australia, which already has been suffering through record flooding this year, now has cyclone Yasi barreling toward them at 180 miles an hour, with 360 miles of width??? They're saying it will be at least as bad as Hurricane Katrina, producing 20 foot swells! What's going on?? That leads me into this next chapter of Genesis and the account of the Flood.

As we enter this section of Scripture, let's look at a couple of New Testament references to Noah that Jon Courson points to. First, let's see what Jesus had to say, when He was asked about His Second Coming:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matt 24:37-39)

When Jesus was telling parables, he always made it clear that the story was just that, a parable that used the common things experienced by men to tell a spiritual truth. However, when He spoke of Old Testament figures, like Jonah and Noah, he affirmed the truth of the Biblical accounts. Noah was a real man, who lived in a time of very evil men. His story is true. In these verses, Jesus tells the disciples that His Second Coming will be just like the days of Noah, when people were oblivious to the signs and going about their days as if there were no God. They were taken by complete surprise by the suddenness of the Flood and its destructive power.

Here's what Peter wrote concerning the End Times in 2 Peter 3:3-6.

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

Here, too, Peter affirms the truth of the account of Noah. Just as there were scoffers in his day, there are scoffers in ours. So, let's look at this account and find its relevance for our day. In verse 1 we're told that "men began to increase in number on the earth..." Courson takes a mathematical projection of the population growth from the times of Seth. Figuring an average of four children born to each man, and each of the four having four, he comes up with a number over 3 billion. He says that it took from the time Noah got off the ark until 1867 for the earth's population to reach 1 billion again. I just checked out the figures online, and the current world population is over 7 billion (nearly doubling since 1970). I believe that the projections are now that the population will continue to double every 15 years! Put people in crowded conditions, and the evil already in their hearts will also multiply! That's exactly what happened in Noah's day.

Truly there is much to say about the first verses, so I'll leave the explanation of the marriages of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men" until tomorrow. I'm anxious to see the parallels between Noah's day and ours! In the meantime, I'm praying for those poor people in Queensland and for those I love in Chicago and the East Coast!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Genesis 5: Part 2

Good morning, all!

Anyone else struck by how quickly that first month of 2011 zoomed by??? Didn't we just get the Christmas stuff put away?? And now Valentine's Day is just two weeks away! YIKES!

This morning I'm going to continue through this genealogy of the line of Seth, because I want you to see the connection between the names. No word in God's Word is wasted, and the genealogies in the Bible are no exception. Yesterday we mentioned that Seth, which meant "appointed," "begat" Enosh ("subject to death"), who fathered Kenan ("sorrowful"), who fathered Mahalalel ("from the presence of God"), who fathered Jared ("one comes down"), who fathered Enoch ("dedicated").

Here the pattern of the genealogy shifts just a bit, because we are given more information about Enoch's character. We are told specifically in verse 22 that Enoch "walked with God 300 years..." then, again in verse 24, "Enoch walked with God, then he was no more, because God took him away." He is the only one mentioned here whose story does not end, "And then he died." Enoch was a man who faithfully walked with God. He had an intimate relationship with his Creator. So much so, that he is the first person "raptured" by God to be with Him while still alive. Now, even though this is pretty much all we know about his life, it apparently is all that matters to God. Again, that five-inch red part of our rope that I mentioned yesterday - our temporary life here on Earth - is summed up in our relationship to God. That's all that matters in the end! And Enoch was indeed dedicated to his God. He surely received a "Well done, though good and faithful servant!"

Enoch was the great-grandfather of Noah. His firstborn son was that old dude, Methuselah ("dying he shall send"). Interestingly enough, the year Methuselah died, God sent the flood! Methusaleh's son was Lamech ("to the poor and lowly"), who fathered Noah ("rest" or "comfort"). Now, here's how Jon Courson puts all of these names together as they point to Christ:

He was the Man appointed to death and sorrow. From the presence of God He came down, dedicated to His main job of dying. He came to the poor and lowly, bringing rest and comfort. Very cool, eh? And you thought genealogy was boring! :)

Tomorrow we will start chapter 6, the story of Noah and the flood. Have a great morning!