Spiritual Rants: “How Was Your Trip? See You Next Fall” January 2, Daily Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Genesis 3:1-4:26 Matthew 2:13-3:6 Psalm 2:1-12 Proverbs 1:7-9

Redundant introduction for Redundants:

You can now listen to my audio podcast guiding you through your reading of the One Year Bible readings.  Tune in weekly to catch the highlights of passages, key theology, and some of the best passages to strengthen your Christian life.

You’ll be blessed.

All three blogs, the devotional from a key verse, the Old Testament/New Testament passages, and the Psalms and Proverbs will be here every day.  The “Choose Life” devotional will be last followed by the OT/NT commentaries and then the Psalms and Proverbs.

Here’s some helpful hints.  There are links in each blog.  The titles are structured to help you understand and get an insight into the passage.  You might have to think a bit.  They are somewhat like a Far Side or Argyle Sweater cartoon but in words.

They all assume that God’s Word is perfect and inspired (cf. Ps. 19:7; 2 Tim. 3:16).

They also assume that Jesus is the Savior of all who trust him (see “How To Be Sure You’re Going To Heaven (no fine print, no caveats)” on the right-hand column of the jerryrothauser.com site.

Here we go!

 

“See You Next Fall” – One Year Bible Reading – January 2

Old Testament:   Genesis 3:1-4:26

Read this passage /on BibleGateway.com

Genesis 3:1-26   How Was Your Trip? See You Next Fall

In Chapter 3, we read The second day, you will read about the first and actually, one and only, FALL.

Some would like to distort this into an animal rebellion, but of course, this is a man and woman rebellion.  The theme of the entire Bible is that rebellion against God leads to death and relationship with God leads to life.  Nowhere is this illustrated more clearly than in this chapter.

The serpent is Satan.  If we couldn’t already figure that out, it is explicit from passages like Revelation 12:9 and 20:2.  He started by asking Eve if God really said what she knew He said.  Perhaps, that is why James tells us we ask God for anything with an attitude of doubt (James 1:6-8) and Paul says that whatever we do based on doubt is sin (Rom. 14:23).  It was doubt that did us all in.  That and a spirit of rebellion.

Satan didn’t use outright recruitment, “Follow me and your life will be better than it will be with God.”  He just made them doubt that things would be as good with God.  It was an attack on the goodness of God.  The entire world system works on that principle today.  The world system tells us things are better in the world than with God.  The “world” in 1 John 5:17 is the world system which is ruled by the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) and the “god of this world” (John 12:31).

They heretofore had not known that they were naked but now strung fig leaves around themselves (v. 7).  Then Adam bumped into God in the garden, who wanted to know who told them they were naked (v. 11, but He already knew the answer).  Adam blamed everything on his new companion (v. 12).  The woman blamed everything on the serpent (v. 13).

So God cursed the snake which had been a pretty little creature and condemned to slither around on the ground and cause women to jump on chairs when they see one (v. 14).  In this verse there is also the first prophecy that Christ would come and set everything back to the way it was and actually make it a lot better than it was.  Verse 15 says, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”  Satan’s followers will hate the followers of God.  One of the woman’s progeny, Jesus, will be hurt at the crucifixion, His “heel” would be “bruised” but Satan would be destroyed, his “head . . .  bruised”).

Women would have pain in bearing children thereafter (v. 16) and men would have more trouble providing for themselves and their families (vv. 17-19).  The woman was named “Eve” which meant “life” or “life-producer” (v. 20).  She also was the first haberdasher (v. 21).  By the way, Adam simply meant “man.”

He banished them both from the garden so they couldn’t live  forever physically by eating from the “tree of life” (v. 22).  This was reversed in the book of Revelation (22: 2, 14, 19).  Special angels, cherubim, were set with flaming swords outside the garden to keep humans from getting back in (v. 24).

In Chapter 4, Adam and Eve had kids. The first one, Abel, raised sheep.  The second one, Cain, raised grain.  They both brought offerings to the Lord but the Lord was only pleased with Abel’s (vv. 4-5).  God gave Cain a second chance though (v. 7).  It could be that Abel brought a sheep, symbolic of the later offering of Christ as a sheep.  Abel brought grain which was, obviously, not a blood offering.  Whatever the case, Cain was jealous that Abel had God’s favor and offed his brother.  Just as Gen. 3:14 said, those who follow Satan hate the ones who follow God.

God called him out on it (vv. 11-12) and allowed Cain to flee to a place of safety so no one would take vengeance on him (v. 14, later there would be distinct “places of refuge” where murderers could abscond to, cf. Josh. 20:2).

Cain took off away from the “presence of the Lord” and nodded off (v. 16).  He and his wife bore a son, Enoch, who ended up taking off (v. 17, cf. Gen. 5:23).  No doubt, Cain’s wife was a daughter of Adam but there was no genetic mutation at the time.  The prohibition against marrying a near relative came later.  Lamech, however, violated the one wife for one husband rule (v. 19).  The law of sins being passed down through the generations resulted in another murderer, Tubal-Cain (vv. 22-24, cf. Exod. 34:7).

God gave Adam and Eve a replacement for Abel, Seth.  His name means, “the substitute” (v. 25).  This was apparently a good period of time wherein “men began to call on the name of the Lord” (v. 26).  Most likely this means that Seth continued the godly line begun with Abel while an ungodly line continued with Cain’s family.

New Testament: Matthew 2:13-3:6

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Matthew 2:13-3:6     Getting Called Out

As we mentioned in yesterday’s passage, Jesus and His family were warned to flee to Egypt (v.13).  God had already provided for their trip through the gifts of the Magi.  Joseph obeyed and absconded with his family during the night after being warned by an angel in a dream (vv. 13-14).  They stayed in Egypt until King Herod croaked (v. 15).

“Out of Egypt I called My Son” is a quote from Hosea 11:1 used to refer to Israel, Yahweh’s son, being called out of Egyptian bondage under Moses.  Israel was protected in Egypt during a time of famine (Gen. 37-50).  Matthew applies it to Jesus being protected in Egypt (v. 15).

Herod slaughtered all the babies under two years old who were in the vincinity of Jerusalem figuring he would off the Messiah before He had a chance to grow up and take over (vv. 16 -18).  Jeremiah 31:19 is quoted which originally depicted the weeping mothers of Ramah, just outside Jerusalem, when many babies were taken into exile to Babylon.  (It could refer to either the exile of 725 or 586 B.C.).  Here Matthew uses it to refer to the mothers weeping for their murdered babies.

After Herod died, an angel gave Joseph the “A-OK” sign so they could return (v. 19).  Instead of going back to Jerusalem where Herod’s son, Ache-louse, I mean, Archelaus, was reigning, he took his family to Nazareth (vv. 22-23a).  That is how the prophecy was fulfilled that Jesus would be a Nazarene in Isa. 53:3Ps. 22:6.

John the Baptist appeared on the scene a few decades later telling people that they needed to get ready for the Messiah.  He said that the prophecy given by Isaiah (v. 3, Isa. 40:3) was about to be fulfilled.  John called them to have a change of mind (v. 2, literal meaning of “repent”) and get themselves ready for the coming of the kingdom.  As we’ll see, though they were offered the kingdom of Christ but rejected it (cf. John 19:15).

John led an austere life eating locusts and honey and wearing clothes made of camel’s hair (v. 4).  It wasn’t like a camel’s hair coat that men get today.  It was actually hair from a camel that was crude and scratchy.

John was baptizing all in the area that wanted to be associated with him and his message (v. 5).  That was the point of being baptized, to be identified with the message (v. 6).  There was as yet, no churches or John the Baptist clubs.

“Why Are The Nations P’O’d?” – One Year Bible Reading (Psalms/Proverbs) – January 2

Psalm 2:1-12:  Why Are The Nations P’O’d?  A Royal Psalm

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

Psalm 2:1-12  Why Are The Nations P’O’d?

 

People don’t like God (check out Rom. 3:10-18).  So nations of people don’t like God either.  As I’m writing I’m listening to Handel’s Messiah and his rendition of this psalm.  You can hear the anger in God’s voice in that tune.  He’s not real happy with the nations either.

How does it all get resolved?  God is going to send His Son to rule over the nations.  Verse 7 originally referred to David becoming enthroned as king.  It also referred to the covenant God made with David (see A Toi Story for more on the Davidic covenant).  It also refers to Christ as the eternal benefactor of the Davidic covenant (cf. Heb. 1:5).

You don’t have to kiss anyone’s ring (v. 12 NIV).  But you do need to be right with Christ.

He is going to make the earth great again.

 

Proverbs 1:7-9:  What Is Hip?

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.  Verse 7 tells us that wisdom comes from the “fear of the Lord.”  I once sat in on a Sunday School in my church.  One of the older ladies proudly declared, “I don’t fear the Lord!”  She meant she wasn’t afraid of the Lord.  Which we shouldn’t be.  But we should fear the Lord like we’d fear a lion in the woods or an atom bomb, that kind of thing.  He is powerful and almighty.  So we should fear Him.  We should also worship Him.  You know, because He is almighty.

Also, have you noticed people who fear the Lord are healthier and live longer than say, drug-abusers, smokers, and people who eat junk food?  They are healthier, too.  That’s why they live longer.  Verse 8 is an echo of one of the ten commandments (cf. Eph. 6:2).  It is the fifth commandment but the first (and only one of the ten commandments) with a promise (cf. Exod. 20:12).  The promise is a long life (cf. Eph. 6:2).

In brief, if you are disciplined, as your parents warned you, you will probably live a long life.  If you are not disciplined, you probably won’t.  You might be able to think of some examples of people in your own life who have had shortened lives.  They may have thought they were hip but the really hip-dressers (v. 9) were those who feared the Lord.

Dig?

Choose Life – “The Big Scam”– An Uplifting Verse from the OYB reading of the day – January 2

Scripture:  Genesis 3:6   NASB    “The Big Scam”

“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”  Genesis 3:6

 

Everyone seems to have a scam these days.  No matter what we buy or person we vote for or sometimes even the church we attend, everyone wants us to do something or pay something and misrepresents things intentionally or unintentionally.  The biggest scam of all time started close to the very beginning of everything.  It happened in the Garden of Eden.  The snake, who was indwelt by Satan (cf. Revelation 12:9 and 20:2), schmoozed Eve with one of the best Madison Ave. spiels ever.  He insinuated that God didn’t want the best for her and there was something better out there.  Just take one of the fruit off the tree of knowledge of good and evil and she could be like God (cf. Gen. 3:5)!  It was the only tree they weren’t allowed to eat from (cf. Gen. 2:17).  Satan was obsessed with the “like God” thing.  It’s what he wanted (cf. Isa. 14:141 Pet. 5:8, he is like a lion).  He was a “crafty” dude (Gen. 3:1).  He questioned God’s goodness and made Eve wonder if there wasn’t a better deal out there.  Perhaps that’s why we are told to be content with what we already have (Heb. 13:5, cf. Phil. 4:11).

In I John, the Apostle John tells us what to beware.  He says watch out for the “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:15-16).  Eve fell for all three, thinking the fruit would be “good for food” (v. 6a, lust of the flesh), “pleasant to the eyes” (v. 6b, lust of the eyes), and “desirable to make one wise” (v. 6, pride of life).   Then she took down her husband with her (cf. 1 Tim. 2:13-14).

Watch out for scams this year.  What is Satan tempting you with?  In what way is he telling you that God isn’t really that good?  Remember that lust begins inside of us and allows the devil to get a hook into us (cf. James 1:13-17).  Don’t let Satan break your relationship with God.  Remember a relationship with God is what leads to life!

 

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application:

As mentioned,  1 John 2:15-16 parallels the story of Eve in the garden.  1 John also speaks of the “world” which is cosmos in the Greek or literally the “world system.”  Satan was setting up the world system when he tempted Eve.  He continues to tempt us today through the world system.  What is the world system?  It is Satan’s control of the world.  Remember when Satan tempted Jesus and offered him all the kingdoms of the world (cf. Matt. 4:8-10)?  Didn’t you think, “Hey, who is this guy offering Jesus all the kingdoms of the world?”  You probably thought it was a bogus offer.  It wasn’t.  Look at 2 Cor. 4:4John 12:31; and Eph. 2:2.  God has given the world over to Satan for the time being.  The only think bogus about Satan’s offer to Jesus was that it would have circumvented God’s will for the world.  God’s plan is to set Jesus over the world Himself (cf. Ps. 2:1-9, esp. v. 6).

Satan works the same way today.  Is he offering you the world today?  Is he offering you a shortcut to happiness and fulfillment?  I can guarantee if you’re watching TV he is offering temptation.  Buy a car, get a girl.  Buy a burger, get a girl.  Perfume?  Get a hunky guy.  Hey, there’s a pattern here.  Drink a beer?  . . .  Get a girl.  How does the devil think that one is going to work, but there it is in every sports show.  But it’s not just commercials.

Every temptation is Satan’s way to short change you out of something that’s better for you: God’s will.

Don’t fall for scams.  Think first and ask for wisdom (cf. James 1:5).

If you do, you’ll be blessed.

And you’ll thank God in the morning.

 

 

 

The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   See You Next Fall

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