Spiritual Rants: “In The Big Inning” January 1, Daily Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Genesis 1:1-2:25 Matthew 1:1-2:12 Psalm 1:1-6 Proverbs 1:1-6

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 after the OT/NT commentaries, and the Psalms and Proverbs helps in interpretations.

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 spiritualrants.com site.

Here we go!

 

“In The Big Inning” – One Year Bible Reading – January 1

Old Testament:   Genesis 1:1-2:25

Read this passage /on BibleGateway.com

Genesis 1:1-2:25     In The Big Inning

Congratulations on starting your first week reading through the Bible on the One Year Bible Reading plan.

I’m going to try to make these daily blogs as short as possible to help you read the entries every day with the least effort but most benefit.

The One Year Bible has readings for the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs.  If you follow the plan, you will end up reading through the entire Old Testament, the entire New Testament, and Proverbs once.  You will read the Psalms twice within the year.  You may choose to only read the Old Testament passages or just the New Testament passages if you need to save time or just have an interest in one or the other.  This year I will add a little, very little, information on the Psalms reading for the day.

When you run into difficulties, I would recommend using the Bible Knowledge Commentary to find quick and accurate answers to Bible difficulties and for the best interpretations.

OK, here we go . . .

In Chapter 1, we read about the creation of the world.  Genesis is the book of “beginnings.” There are a lot of firsts in the book of Genesis. The first baseball game: “in the big inning.” (The jokes don’t get any better from here. If you don’t like them, don’t read my blog.) Oh, let’s see, what are some other firsts? OK, like . . . creation? That’s a pretty big first. Many will get a big bang out of reading the two accounts of creation. That’s right. There are TWO accounts. First, is the overall account of creation and secondly, zooming in on the account, more specifically, of man and woman. There is no contradiction between the two accounts as some have accused, just two accounts seen from different views.

You may have heard of something called the “gap” theory.  This is based on a supposed “gap” of time between verses 1 and 2.  There is really no evidence linguistically for this.  It is a forced theory to try to accommodate the godless theory of evolution.  There is no reason to posit this gap or that theory.  There were only three persons present at the “beginning” of time.  They were also present throughout all eternity.  They communicated to us what happened.  Science has nothing to do with it.  Science is based on repeatability and as far as I know, no one has been able to repeat creation to study it.

The word for God used in this chapter is the Hebrew Elohim.  It is in the plural form suggesting the Trinity.  The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were the ones present at creation.  Notice that verse 26 says, “Let us . . .”  They were all there.  One God, three persons.  John 1:1 indicates that Jesus, the Word, was at creation, “In the Beginning was the Word and Word with God and the Word was God.”

After God had created everything, He gave dominion over the entire creation (vv. 26 -31).

In Chapter 2, we scope in to the story of the creation of man in chapter 1.  Chapter 2 does not contradict chapter 1, it just takes the section on mankind and gives more information.

God formed man out of the dirt (v. 7) and breathed His life into him to bring him alive.  2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that God did the same thing with His written word.  The word “inspired” literally means “God-breathed” (cf. the NIV translation).

The man was allowed to eat of the “tree of life” (v. 9).  We see this tree again in the last chapter of the Bible in Revelation 22 (Rev. 22: 21419).  He was not allowed to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (v. 16).

God presented all the animals as a companion for the man since it wasn’t good for him to be alone.  The man named them all but they were all insufficient for the role.  His name, Adam, first appears in v. 19. God anesthetized him and  ripped one of his ribs from his side and made a woman for him (v. 21).

Someone has said that woman was taken from his side to be an equal, not from his feet for him to over her or from his head for her to rule over him (cf. v. 23).

When a couple decides to get married, they are to break ties with their original family in the sense that their spouse now becomes their primary relationship (v. 24).

They both were naked and it wasn’t porn (v. 25).

New Testament: Matthew 1:1-2:12

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

Matthew 1:1-2:12  The Eastern Wise Guys

You can blitz through the genealogy again but notice that it is traced through Jesus’ father to show He is legally related to Abraham. (Luke will trace through Mary back to Adam.) The appearance of an angel to Joseph is recounted, quoting Scripture from Isaiah, so Joseph won’t totally freak out and dump Mary. It’s not every day you find out your wife is going to have a virgin birth so this is a special occasion. Wise men come from the east, aka, Magi, aka . . . believe it or not, astrologers.

The boy’s name was to be “Jesus” which means “the Lord saves” (v. 21, 25).  He is also to be called “Immanuel” which means “God with us” (v. 23).  Verse 23 is a quotation from Isa. 7:14 to show that Jesus’ birth fulfilled prophecy.

Verses 1-12 of chapter 12 tells the story of the wise men.  They had probably learned that a Messiah would be born about this time from Daniel.  They were from Persia and their descendants may have known of Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27.  If Daniel explained it to them, they could’ve figured the approximate time that the king of the Jews would be born.  They may have known to look for a start to guide them.  One theory is that “star” was the best term the Magi had to describe what they saw.  It could have been the Shekinah glory that led the Israelites in the wilderness (Exod. 13:2140:38).  The reason is that it didn’t always travel from east to west like a heavenly body.  It actually led the Magi from north to south at one point (cf. v. 9, they traveled from Jerusalem with Herod to Bethlehem, south from there).

The Magi arrived around two years after Jesus was born and worshiped Him because He was God (v. 10).  They were most likely priests from Persia and very rich.   Notice Joseph and Mary had a house at this point (v. 11).  They brought Him gifts worthy of a king:  gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  The frankincense and myrrh were probably worth almost as much as the gold.  Frankincense is the spice used by Jewish priests.  Myrrh was used as a burial spice signifying that Christ was born to die.

The gold would have provided the financial means for Mary and Joseph to flee to Egypt to escape the murder of the “innocents.” King Herod tried to destroy all baby boys under two years of age in the area to try to squelch any threats to his crown (vv. 16-18).  This would also indicate that the Magi arrived on the scene less than two years after His birth.

“Make Like A Tree And Leaf” – One Year Bible Reading (Psalms/Proverbs) – January 1

Psalm 1:1-6:  A Wisdom Psalm

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

Psalm 1:1-6  Make Like A Tree And Leaf

This may be the greatest psalm and is a great one to start off the New Year!  Why?   It is a psalm of wisdom.  It tells us believers who study the Bible will end up being different than the rest of people in the world.  We will bear godly fruit.

Believers will be like trees that are rooted near a stream.  We will flourish.  Well, that is if they are living out of the Word like a tree by a stream sucks up nourishment from the water.

That should be an encouragement to us.  We just need to stay in His Word to thrive (cf. John 15:5).

An old friend of mine always reminds me that Hudson Taylor, one of the most famous missionaries of all time, did not have his first convert for years after moving to China.  But Hudson was bearing fruit all the while.  It might not be the type of prosperity that you are promised on TV but it is the kind that God likes to see.

Keep on keepin’ on.  You will flourish if you stay in the Word (cf. 1 Cor. 15:58).  Others, will dry up and blow away.

Proverbs 1:1-6

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

 

Proverbs is a book of wisdom written by Solomon to help one of his sons.  (It’s OK for women to listen in, too.  It is wisdom for everyone.)

Wisdom is “applied knowledge.”  John Morrison said this about wisdom, “Knowledge comes by taking things apart: analysis. But wisdom comes by putting things together.”  In this blog, we try to do both.

The book of Proverbs was written so we won’t be stupid.  That’s what verses 1-6 say.  You don’t want to be stupid, do you?  Well, do you?

Keep reading every day in Proverbs.

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