Spiritual Rants: “Break His Face!’ January 3, Daily Readings to read through the Bible in a year: Genesis 5:1-7:24; Matthew 3:7-4:11; Psalm 3:1-8; Proverbs 1:10-19

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!

“Knock, Knock” – One Year Bible Reading – January 3

Old Testament:   Genesis 5:1-7:24

Read this passage /on BibleGateway.com

Genesis 5:1-7:24  Knock, Knock

In Chapter 5, you can skip through the genealogy though you might want to note Methuselah since he was the first and only oldest man who ever lived.  He lived to be 969 years old (v. 27).  That’s a lot of candles.  Adam only lived to be 930 years in comparison.

Of note is Enoch (v. 21-24).  He lived to be 365 years old.  But for those of you who may not believe in the Rapture, he is an example of someone who already was raptured.  Verse 24 says that he “walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”  That is what rapturists believe will happen to the entire church and that it could happen at any time (cf. 1 Thes. 4:1617).  E-noch, noch.  Who’s there?  Nobody.  He got raptured.

Enoch was the father of Methuselah who was the father of Lamech who was Noah’s dad.  That’s right, Enoch was great grandfather.  Noah was 500 years old before he had kids, Shem (not of Three-Stooges fame), Ham (no rye), and Japheth (v. 32).

In Chapter 6, there’s an interesting story about some really bad angels and some women.   “Sons of god” is a phrase that sometimes refers to angels (cf. Job 1:62:138:7).  They may have sinned with human women and be punished by being thrown in a pit (2 Peter 2:4Jude 6).  Hey, it’s possible.  No one has any better ideas!

It’s possible they had children known as the Nephilim.  God was not happy with the human race at this time and gave them 120 years to clean things up (v. 2, cf. LB).  Only Noah found favor with God at this time (later Moses would find favor, cf. Exod. 33:17, possibly Abraham, Gen. 18:3).

Noah was to build a huge boat and collect two of every living thing to put in it (v. 19).  God was going to destroy all mankind except for Noah’s family (v. 17).

We move on to the one and only worldwide Flood.

In Chapter 7, God promised to send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights (v. 4).  After Noah had turned six hundred, the flood rains began (v. 6).  He and his family entered the ark with all the animals and the Lord Himself shut the door (vv. 13-16).  After it had rained for forty days and forty nights, the water continued to cover the earth for 150 days (v. 24).

New Testament: Matthew 3:7-4:11

Read this passage on BibleGateway.com

Matthew 3:7-4:11   Bonding

Usually when you meet someone for the first time, it’s best to “bond” with them somehow by asking what their favorite team is or telling a joke.  But JB called the Pharisees a “brood of vipers” and asked them who tipped them off to abscond before the wrath of God hit them in the pants.  He told them to repent and change their theology (v. 8) and quit appealing to Abraham as their father (v. 9).  God had already decided to bring judgment (“the axe is already laid at the root of the trees,” v. 10).

JB said that he was going to baptize so that people could show their change of mind toward God but Jesus was going to come to baptize in the power of the Holy Spirit to join believers to the body of the Church (v. 11).  He is going to come in judgment as well (v. 12).

Jesus asked JB to baptize him but JB didn’t want to do it.  Jesus persuaded him saying that He had to do it to fulfill everything a man should do (v. 15).  So JB relented and baptized Him.  When He was coming up from the water, JB could see the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove sitting on Jesus’ head and heard a voice coming out of Heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” vv. 16-17).

After His baptism, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1).  Jesus didn’t eat for forty days or nights and, of course, was a bit hungry (v. 2).  Satan tempted Him by telling Him He should change the nearby stones into bread and eat them (v. 3).  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:2 to say that He couldn’t act on His own authority apart from God and do what He wanted (v. 4).  The point of the temptations was for the devil to try to get Jesus to rebel against God, that is, sin, and therefore not be suitable as a Savior for mankind.  The temptations were real (Heb. 4:15) but Jesus did not succumb (2 Cor. 5:21).

The first temptation corresponded to the “lust of the flesh” (cf. yesterday’s blog The Big Scam and 1 John 2:1-16).  The second temptation, to act presumptuously and throw Himself off the roof of the Temple to show that angels would protect Him (v. 6), would be a misuse of the Scripture Satan quoted (Ps. 91:11-12).  Yes, Satan can use Scripture against God’s people.  If Jesus had knuckled under, He would have exhibited “the lust of the eyes” (1 John 2:16b).

Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16 (“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test”) to indicate He could not act apart from God’s will.  We can also quote Scripture to Satan to thwart His advances.  In Ephesians 6:17b, we are told that the Word of God acts as the “sword of the Spirit.”

Finally, Satan took Jesus to a high mountain to show Him all the kingdoms and tempt Him to worship him in exchange for all the world.  Jesus quoted Deut. 6:13and 10:20 (“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test”) to cause him to flee.  Angels came and ministered to Him (v. 11b).

“Break His Face!” – One Year Bible Reading (Psalms/Proverbs) – January 3

Psalm 3:1-8: Break His Face!  A Psalm of Trust By David

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Psalm 3:1-8  Break His Face!

When David wrote this, he was fleeing from his son, Absalom, who had rebelled against him and was trying to rip his kingdom from him.  It was a horrible situation since David loved Absalom (2 Sam. 18:13) and he also liked being king.  No one thought David was going to make it through this crisis (v. 2).  David, who had forced out of the capital city (cf. 2 Samuel 15:14-20:26), relied on the Lord completely for his safety, the Lord was “his shield” (v. 3).

David knew that the only reason he was able to wake up alive in the morning was because God was protecting him (v. 5).  He knew that his son has the larger force of thousands of troops (v. 6).  You think you have it bad?  Have you had thousands after you?

David expresses confidence in his Lord who has already smacked his enemies and even broken their faces (v. 7).  “Shattered the teeth” is a metaphor for breaking their faces which is a metaphor for killing them.

When God takes care of you, He is “saving” you like when He “saves” you (v.8, cf. Rom. 10:9-10Titus 3:5).  So He is always saving believers from everything (cf. Zeph. 3:17).

Whenever anyone is trying to destroy you, demons or people, you can pray that God break their faces.  It doesn’t mean that you have to be retributive, but it does mean that God that you are asking God to use all means to protect you.

 

Proverbs 1:10-19   Isn’t It A “Pit”-y?

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The book of Proverbs is advice from a father to a son.  In this section, he warning his son not to act like unsaved people who end up in the “pit,” i.e. Hell.  (Sheol is the place of the dead in the OT, it basically is the same of Hell in this context.)

After graduation from high school, it always seems that some kids go joy-riding and smash into a wall and die.  Every year.  Where we lived in Texas, they would even always crash in the same place.  You would think word would have gotten around.

Solomon, who wrote Proverbs, is warning his son agains peer pressure.  Just because everyone is “doing it,” doesn’t mean that you have to, too.  Lemmings, for example?  Just because your “friends” jump off a cliff doesn’t mean you have to.  I think my mother used to tell me that.

“Feet” in vv. 15-16 is symbolic of the whole person.  Usually people don’t go anywhere unless their feet go there first.  So don’t let your feet lead you into trouble.  Reverse Nike: Don’t Do It!

These dummies kill themselves (v. 18 “But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives”).

Don’t get things through force, trust in the Lord for what you need (Matt. 6:33 or even Rom. 12:19).

Don’t hang with thugs, die, and have people say over your grave, “‘pit’-y.”

Choose Life – “Unarmed To A Gun Fight” – One Year Bible Reading – January 3

Scripture:  Matthew 4:4   NASB    “Unarmed To A Gun Fight”

“But He answered and said, ‘It is written, “‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.”’”  Matthew 4:4

 

Satan tempted Jesus in the same way he tempts us today.  He tried to pry Jesus away from His dependence on His Father.  In that way, He would have sinned and disqualified Himself as being the Savior of the world.

Satan tempted Jesus physically, spiritually, and psychologically.  He first tempted Jesus to act apart from God to feed Himself and not trust His Father for sustenance.  Then he tempted Christ to act apart from God to take care of Himself spiritually, to act out of pride and have angels show off to catch Him jumping from the Temple (many Jews thought the Messiah might come to the Temple first, cf. Mal. 3:1).  He finally tempted Jesus psychologically to try to get Jesus to take the world on the devil’s terms instead of waiting and relying on God to receive the world on His terms (cf. Ps. 2:8110:1-2).  Satan actually had the authority to give the kingdoms since God had turned them over to him (2 Cor. 4:4John 12:31Eph. 2:2).

Each time Satan tempted Jesus, He answered Him with Scripture.  He knew Scripture better than Satan and we need to follow His example.

How much Scripture have you committed to memory?  The Topical Memory System from the Navigators is a good place to start.  It will teach you the best method to learn Scripture as well as supply sixty of the most used verses printed out already for you on cards.  You will be amazed how much Bible you know after you memorize all those Bible verses.  If the devil engages you in battle, you don’t want to show up unarmed.

It’s the beginning of a new year, a great time to start learning some key Scriptures.

 

 

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

Fun Application:

If you are serious about trying to memorize Scripture, and I hope that you are, here’s a helpful hint for you. (It’s opposed to an “unhelpful hint,” I hate those).

Try memorizing a verse or just even part of verse right before you go to sleep.  It’ll probably be there in your mind as you wake up.  One problem with memorizing that way is that often the Scripture drives bad stuff out of your unconscious as you’re sleeping.  You then may get nightmares.  But that’s OK.  That stuff shouldn’t be there anyway.  Eventually the nightmares will go away and you’ll have great storehouse of Bible information stored on your personal hard drive.

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:   Knock, Knock

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