Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 4

OT: Gen. 8:1-10:32

For once, I don't have a ton of big ideas swirling around in my mind after reading. Today's reading was about Noah coming out of the ark and the spread of his descendants, and I just have a few smaller observations:

--Noah was in that ark for-EVER! Talk about cabin fever!
--I thought about verse 22 ("As long as the earth endures/seedtime and harvest/cold and heat/summer and winter/day and night/will never cease") in context of the idea of global warning. On the surface, it looks like a biblical repudiation of the idea, but then I latched on to the opening phrase, "As long as the earth endures." Hmmm...that at least opens up a hole:). Not that I have any idea what to think about global warming:).
--In 9:3, I was surprised to learn that only now does God give man animals for food. I thought He did that in Gen. 1. But no, in Gen. 1, he just gives plants. So I guess early mankind were vegetarians? I wonder if their relationship with animals was totally different. After all, the serpent talked to Eve, and she didn't think anything of it!
--The naked Noah story is still odd to me. Again, what is the big deal with nakedness? I mean, Ham's behavior was improper, but it didn't seem enough for Noah to curse his own grandson into slavery!
--I found 10:25 really intriguing, where it said that Eber's son "was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided." I remember learning in school that the continents used to be all joined together (called Pangea, or something). I'm pretty sure that scientists think it took like millions of years or something to divide, but it was interesting to read that verse. It's crazy that the Bible acknowledges that the earth used to be put together and at some point divided. I think that's cool:).

NT: Matt. 4:12-25

I think I will eventually like that the NT goes so slowly. When we get to the epistles, I think it will be great. But for now, I keep wanting the story to keep going. I wonder about the process of Simon and Andrew becoming disciples. Today's account kind of makes it sound like Jesus just walked up to two random strangers, but other Gospels make it seem like he already knew them. I have always been curious about that whole process, about how much they knew about Jesus before committing their lives to Him.

I also love the poetry of the earlier reference to Isaiah: "the people living in darkness/have seen a great light;/on those living in the shadow of death/a light has dawned" (Matt: 4:16, Is. 9: 1-2). Beautiful!

Psalm 4:1-8

I love v. 4: "In your anger, do not sin..." I think that only the Spirit can help us control our feelings, but we can very much control what we do with them. Be angry, but don't sin.

And I also love the last verse: "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." God alone keeps us safe. I should always rely on and turn to Him.

Prov. 1: 20-23

I love the idea of wisdom calling in the streets. I so see that today. So many times, the answers to people's problems are so simple. The lifestyles they choose are simply harmful to them. They need to change them. Period. They hear that they need to. They know that they need to. But they don't. I can totally hear Wisdom saying, "How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you." Why don't people respond to wisdom's rebuke? That's what I want to know. When I tell a teen that she should choose college over her illiterate, twenty-something, jobless boyfriend, why doesn't she??? Why??? The right thing is so obvious. She knows that I love her and want the best for her. So why?? I've had those thoughts so often in various situations. And I wonder about the times when I have opted out of taking wisdom's rebuke. It's baffling that a species so advanced as humanity finds it SO hard to listen to wisdom's rebuke.


  1. Gen./Matthew Since you so aptly made a connection yesterday between them, it planted that seed in my mind. It seems like that G account tells how the people of the world got started and spread whereas the Matthew tells how the people of Christ started and spread. I really enjoyed that concept. Also, in the G account, the only reason I could see that God and Noah were so angry with Ham was b/c he disrespected seemed like a very bad heart thing. (Although I really thought Noah should have watched his drinking!) But maybe when we see our loved ones and friends mess us (too much to drink?), our attitude should be to protect them, not exploit them?

  2. I have always thought about how Noah and Adam were so similar. Only, it was kinna hard I would think to go from being a part of a world full of people to all of them being destroyed! They had to start ALL over again ..from square -100. There was nothing left. I wonder if he was drinking to deal with the intensity of the entire world being destroyed before his eyes?

    And, there again you have the fourth generation of repopulation already going out and building cities.

    I think of weird stuff too, were their bones of people killed in the flood everywhere? Were there remnants of cities still around? Did they keep the names of the cities they remembered? How far from home did they end up? Did the animals just all leave and go to their own respective ends of the earth? hmmm..

    Matt: I like how once Jesus got to work he really did get to work. He started collecting partners in his ministry, healing people, teaching in the synagogues, preaching, and traveling quite a bit.He was busy fella. He knew his time was limited and had alot of work to do.

    Psalms ..loved the same verses you did.

    Prov ...consistent with God's creating men, blessing them, destroying them/giving humanity a second chance, planning in advance for a way to bring us back to him ..he says "If you had responded to my rebuke I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you." Comon' people!

  3. Yay, Kim! I'm glad you're doing this blog. Larry got Tommy and me reading this too, so I'm glad to have a place to post my thoughts and see everyone else's thoughts.

    Genesis: I liked how God "remembered Noah and all the wild animals." I know that God loves people, but sometimes I forget that He also loves animals. It makes me wonder what the relationship between God and animals is like. I mean, animals don't have to DO anything (as far as we know) to make themselves right with God. (Of course, they didn't "sin" (except for the serpent) and mess up the relationship to begin with.) Do you think that animals even know God anyway? If they do, I'm sure it's a different kind of "knowing" than we know, but it's still interesting to think about.

    I thought about the eating animals thing too. I guess they had a large supply of plants to eat on the boat...?

    I think that Noah was mad at Ham because it sounds like Ham was making fun of him, disrespecting him, to his other sons. Ham should have either kept what he saw to himself or, better yet, covered him up discretely. Still, it does seem very harsh on Noah's part to curse all of Ham descendents. Well, this may be another story in the Bible that is more of a historical lesson than an example of what to do.

    Matthew: As far as the timing of the disciples being called, I think that in this particular story, Jesus had already talked to some of these guys before. This was after John the Baptist had been arrested, but another account has some of them meeting Jesus right after John points out who he is. I get the picture than John "introduced" them (er, sort of), and then after John was gone, Jesus picked them up. (Also, it's not like this was a very big area anyway, so I'm sure that they had all seen each other around before.)

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, guys! (And welcome, Becky and Tommy!) I will normally try to respond more, but some days are busier than others, as I'm sure they are for you, too. But I love hearing your take on Scripture, and I love getting to discuss it with you. Thanks for sharing!

  5. 2012 thoughts:

    --In the OT, I noted that the writer had some good things to say about the cursed sons of Ham, specifically regarding Nimrod, "a mighty warrior before the Lord" (Gen. 10:8). I appreciated the nuance there. So many times it seems that once people in the Bible are cursed, then they are simply the bad guys. Ham's genealogy shows that that is not always the case.

    In the NT, I was stirred by the phrase, "fishers of men." Today it struck me as a rather poetic and grandiose way for Jesus to call a person to join in His work. What I love about it is that it is so open-ended and promising. It stirs the imagination. That's how I feel about Christ's invitation to ME.

    Before and after he calls Peter and Andrew Jesus preaches, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." That line is similarly captivating. I'm currently reading The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard, and he expounds on this very invitation (the Kingdom is near) in ways that are beautiful and motivating.

    In the Psalms, I loved this line: "In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent." I especially love the admonition to search your own heart, and the assumption that when you do, the things you find in there might mitigate your "righteous indignation."