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Genesis 9-11

My Thoughts

  • After the flood God continued to provide for every need that Noah and his family needed.
  • He then made a promise to never destroy the earth with a flood again. The symbol of this is the rainbow. I am always awed when I see a rainbow. They are precious.
  • The Tower of Babel is a warning to not try and out smart God. They attempted to build their way to heaven. God won’t allow the foolish ideas and plans of man to prosper. God was concerned about the many other things that the people with one language could do. In creating languages people couldn’t band together against God’s plan.

Genesis 8

My thoughts:

  • The pure offerings of Noah were a precious thing to God. With those he promised not to destroy the earth even though he knew that the heart of man was inherently evil. The earth would remain whole and time would continue as he had planned in order for those that chose to serve God could have life.

This world is full of religion. You can find a religion that will fit your needs and make you feel good. But what exactly are they offering you? Do they teach the Word of God? Is a change of heart a requirement for the promise of salvation? Is every level of hierarchy with in those religions built on honesty and truth?

From what I have seen of religion today offers nothing but a false hope, a half truth and hypocrisy. This practice in man made religion has been going on for years. In fact, Jesus preached about it. At that time it was the Scribes and Pharisees that were doing a disservice to those that wanted to seek God. In Matthew 23 Christ brings judgment to those that require acts from the people and not themselves. To those that are more concerned with the “law” than a heart change. To those that are busy about works that make them appear to be righteous but are not sincere in their hearts. He concludes this message with verse 23; “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” The scribes and Pharisees in Bible times were more concerned with acting like a follower of Christ than being one from the heart, as many religious leaders are today. God requires us to pay more attention to the “weightier matters of the law” those that are most important, judgment, mercy and faith.

In my observation of religion I have seen that many have two of the three. Some have mercy and faith. They preach that God is love and will forgive anything as long as you believe. That you can’t live with out sin, but God is merciful just say “I Believe”. Others are full of judgment, have strict creeds that, and are stingy with mercy. There is any combination that can be made. But if you don’t have all three, you don’t have the complete truth that God has for you. The three principles, judgment, mercy and faith all work together and the result is beautiful.

In order to receive mercy through faith, one has to experience judgment. How can you ask for forgiveness if you have done nothing wrong? Romans 3:23 reads “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Each and every one of us has committed sin. What is sin? Sin is a transgression against God’s law, something that we know is wrong but do it anyways (1 John 3:4) or something that we know we need to do, but we don’t do it. (James 4:17) The Bible tells us that we are all sinners and that God is not pleased with this. Romans 6:1 asks “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” the answer in verse 2 is “God forbid.” His plan for us is that we live in communion with him. We cannot do this if sin remains in our life. So judgment comes through the acknowledgement of sin and the need to seek forgiveness or mercy for them. If we fail to do this and continue living in sin, we have a reward, and that is hell. (Psalms 9:16-17) But let’s not forget God’s perfect plan. He does offer mercy to those that seek his forgiveness for their sins. God sent his son, the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live with out sin. In Matthew 1:21 the Bible states that Jesus came to save his people FROM their sins, not to save them while they continue IN their sins. All we have to do to receive this mercy is to confess our sins. (1 John 1:9) It is hard to say that we are wrong and to say sorry, but God loves a humble heart and will draw them close. Once we have been forgiven it is up to us to choose to live sin free every day. Sin is a choice as we discussed earlier and it is with God’s mercy and grace that we are able to choose to follow him in righteousness. We have a responsibility to keep a tight hold on our salvation, 1 John 5:18 “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” We are born into God’s family when we have sought forgiveness and received it; we then need to keep ourselves so that the enemy of our souls will have no power over us. Now where is faith in all of this? Ephesians 2:8-9 reads “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” We do need to have faith to believe that God can and will save us. That he will keep his promises. Through the power of salvation in us and his presence through the Holy Spirit, we can live each day in a manner pleasing to him. We will not make it to heaven just by doing good things, we cannot save ourselves. We need to accept the blood of Jesus as a payment for our sins and though God’s mercy continue our life with out sin. Our salvation is a work that only God can perform in our lives. It is only when we have acknowledged the judgment of sin and sought mercy through faith that we are able to live as God would have us to, holy, sin free, and in communion with him.

Through all of this we can see that we must have all three, judgment, mercy and faith to live according to God’s plan for his people. Be honest with your self and with God. Don’t be content with just a religious belief, search for a true relationship with God. Seek the truth where ever you go and God will be faithful to bring you to it. It is his desire that you find the truth.

Recently I have had the opportunity to do a lot of weeding. This particular area that I was working in had a lot of stones in the dry ground. It was difficult work, but really rewarding when I saw the area clear of unsightly weeds. God used this time to give me an object lesson. It was good for me and I would like to share…

Weeds that are growing in stony ground are hard to pull. In order for the weeds to be completely eradicated, you have to get the roots out. However their roots get entangled with the rocks and since the ground is dry, it’s hard to get your tools in deep enough to loosen the rocks and get the roots free.

To parallel this with our life, the weeds are the fruit or result of a deeper problem. In order to completely get rid of the outward signs of a problem, the root of the issue must be delt with and removed. If our ground, or heart is hard and filled with stones it will be difficult for the master gardener to gently pull those weeds with their roots out of our lives. If our ground is so hard that we hold on to the roots of the issue, just allowing the plant to be broken and removed, the weeds are sure to return.

In Psalms we are cautioned against hardening our hearts. Psalms 95:8-11 reads:

“Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.”

If we harden our hearts we won’t be able to have that close relationship with God. He doesn’t want to abide among the thorns of weeds. He wants to work the ground of our heart, making it soft and fertile, ready to grow beautiful plants full of good fruit.

God isn’t pleased with a hard heart, he can’t work it. Stony hearts are independent and not dependent on him. They don’t work well in relationships and they aren’t humble.  They don’t want God to work in their ground, tending their lives taking care of them, pulling weeds and pruning. Yes all those things hurt the flesh when God shows us that we need to give up something, but when we allow the pruning to happen, the bloom is much brighter in its time.

God promises to take our stony heart and give us one of flesh.

“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 11:19-21

If we have a pliable heart, then when issues and attitudes arise, they are more easily gotten rid of. God can quickly help us to see our need and deal with the root of the matter at its inception or shortly after, before the weed grows so big that it takes over our lives. Let us be careful to keep a soft and pliable heart, easily worked and tended. God loves to have humble and tender hearts to work with; they produce the sweetest and most beautiful fruit, all which are a glory to him.

Allow God to get replace your hard stony heart with one of flesh and you will be amazed by the beauty and satisfaction that follows.

Habakkuk 1:5 Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you.

“Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days — you would not believe if you were told!” (Habakkuk 1:5, New American Standard)

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