January 8, 2015
When two of the three “men” who visited with Abram left towards Sodom, the third one turned aside to reveal their destination and purpose. When Abram heard that they intended to see whether the “outcry” of Sodom’s sin was as great as it sounded, Abram began to appeal to God’s justice for the sake of the righteous. As the story unfolds, we see that the two men visiting Sodom are in fact, angels. And we see that the One remaining to speak to Abram is revealed to be the Lord. In Abram’s prayer we hear him appeal to God’s sense of justice. We are learning about God’s character here and also Abram’s. In a crazy kind of prayer/negotiation, God agrees not to destroy Sodom if there are but 10 righteous there. I think Abram must’ve known the wickedness of Sodom, but he didn’t want his nephew, Lot, to fall under judgment. We learn from Abram’s prayer how we should passionately and reverently pray for the salvation for our family, neighbors and friends. We also learn how God heard Abram’s prayer and preserved Lot, even though there were no righteous found in Sodom and it fell under God’s judgment.
January 6, 2015
After Abram (His name before God changed it to “Abraham” – “Father of nations”) had divided the sacrificial animals and arranged them according to God’s instruction, a great sense of “horror” came over him with the setting of the sun. God was approaching. One commentator has observed, “Holy fear prepares the soul for holy joy; God humbles first, then lifts up.” This meeting with God was preceded by Abram’s questioning of God’s promised seed. Abraham had questioned, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless?”
Have you ever spent the night in prayer questioning God and waiting for an answer? If you have, you may have experienced what Abram did, holy terror. God let the hem of His holiness touch Abram and it was enough to horrify. Then, God made a covenant (Literally “cut” a covenant, as the origin of the word covenant implied the shedding of blood to seal it.) with Abram by passing between the sacrificed animals, prophesying his offspring’s slavery in Egypt and God’s deliverance. When the sun arose the next morning, Abram’s questioning and terror had been replaced with faith and holy joy.
January 3, 2015
There is much about the book of Genesis (From the Greek translation meaning “beginnings”) that troubles the modern mind. In today’s reading we encounter the incredible longevity of man (Methuselah lived to 969 years), the building of an ark to save Noah, his family, and a remnant of the animals of the land and air, and finally, a worldwide deluge. Some view these stories as myth or fairy tale, yet Jesus referred to Noah and the flood as a literal event. Both Matthew and Luke record Jesus’ words describing the “days of Noah” as a foreshadowing of the end times when He would return to judge the living and the dead (Matt. 24:37-38, Luke 17:26-27). If Jesus referred to Noah and the flood as literal past and predictive of the future, then so do I. That’s why I’ve decided to believe into Christ our Ark. for “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).
January 1, 2015
It’s a new year and it can be a new “beginning” too. Because the God that “created the heavens and the earth” is the same God today as He was yesterday. He can make us a new creation in Christ. He is the Creator God. He stands outside of time, space and matter. He is the wholly Other. But He is also the God that took on human flesh and died for us. He is both transcendent and immanent. He can change your life. He is the Author, not only of this Book, but of our salvation.
Welcome aboard another journey on the Bible Bus. All aboard for a new beginning! This year I will be using the NKJV (New King James Version) for my daily readings. Let’s go… New Year, new start!
January 24, 2014
On his deathbed, Jacob (Israel) spoke a prophetic word over each of his sons. Over Judah he spoke a Messianic prophecy that described the eternal kingship and honor of the coming Christ. Centuries later David was born into the tribe of Judah and became the king of all Israel. And still more centuries later, Jesus was born to the house of David, the tribe of Judah. He is the Promised One that old Jacob saw coming.
January 22, 2014
Joseph saw God’s purpose for his life even though it led him through much pain and suffering. He not only forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery, he saw it as his mission to care for all of them. The life of Joseph points to the life of Christ. He is a Christological type, preparing the Jewish people to recognize Christ’s Person and ministry.
January 18, 2014
Joseph is a Christological type, a foreshadowing of Christ. He is obedient to his father. Rejected by his brethren. And later, when he rises to power in Egypt, he is the savior of his people, forgiving them and taking care of them during the famine. God gave His people many foreshadowings to prepare them for Christ, but when He came, they treated Him worse than Joseph.
January 16, 2014
After a sleepless night wrestling with God, Jacob begins a new day with a new name and a limp. “Jacob,” which means grasping the heel or pulling the leg, got his own leg pulled out of joint. Henceforth, he will be called “Israel,” and his 12 sons will become the 12 tribes.
January 11, 2014
Isaac and Ishmael buried their father, Abraham, in the same tomb he had bought to bury Sarah. These two sons became two great peoples. The Jewish nation came from Isaac and the Arab nations from Ishmael. They stood united at their father’s funeral, but enmity has existed between them until this day. The tomb of Abraham and Sarah is in modern day Hebron. The site has intermittently been under Jewish, Christian, or Muslim control. The current building that sits atop the tomb is a hybrid of a church with Muslim minarets added to make it a mosque. Isaac, the miraculous son of the free woman and Ishmael, the human son of the slave woman still contend over the site. The stories of the Bible are true. Its history affects today’s events.
January 7, 2014
The Bible is a book for us, but not really about us. It is a book about God. The Lord chooses to reveal Himself to Abram. With every turn of the page, the Bible records more about the Person and Character of God. Here, He identifies Himself as “El Shaddai-God Almighty,” the Omnipotent One. What does it mean to you that God is All-Powerful? What do you face today that requires His strength?