Old Testament: Genesis 18:16-19:36
Genesis 18:16-19:36 A Parking Lot
Summary: God tells Abraham He is going to level Sod0m and Gomorrah. Abe feels sorry for Sodom and asks for mercy. He asks if God can find 50 righteous people, will God spare the city? God allows this. So Abraham tries to bargain God down and gets him down to ten. If God can find only ten righteous in Sodom He will spare it. Sodom gets nuked. Two pretty gross stories show how depraved this area was and how merciful but righteous God is.
In Chapter 18:16-33, God is visiting with Abraham and tells Him that He is planning on destroying Sodom and Gomorrah because of their immorality. Abraham knows that his nephew Lot is staying there and so bargains God down hoping to save his relative. God could not find even ten righteous people in those towns. If God would have found one righteous person in Sodom and Gomorrah, would He have destroyed it? He would have removed the one person. How do we know? Because that is what He did! He allowed Abraham to remove Lot and his family (cf. 2 Peter 2:7; Gen. 19:14).
In Chapter 19, the two angels from the previous chapter came and stayed with Lot. Lot served them dinner and they wanted to leave and sleep outside. Lot knew what would happen if the angels stayed outside. The local men would try to have “their way” with them. He convinced them to stay inside but guess what? The local men wanted to have their way with them anyway!
Lot had a brainstorm. He thought I’ll get the men to leave by offering them my two virgin daughters (v. 5)! That didn’t work as the men preferred other men. So the angels blinded the townsmen but they were still trying to claw their way in (v. 11)! The next morning Lot warned his household to abscond but his sons-in-law thought he was joking (v. 15). The angels told them to hurry so they fled to a small town named Zoar which coincidentally means “small.”
The Lord dumped fire and brimstone on the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 24). It was like a nuclear blast had hit it, smoke rising from the ruins (v. 28). Lot’s wife turned around to look back though she was warned not to look back. It would seem that her desire was to stay in the towns. She turned into a “pillar of salt,” perhaps as salt blew back at her and covered her ( v. 17, 26).
Lot was afraid to stay in town after that as tiny as it may have been (v. 30, Zoar). He stayed in a cave with his two daughters. They were afraid they’d never have kids so they hatched a plan to sleep with their own father after getting him drunk (v. 32). The plan worked and resulted in the tribes of the Moabites and the Ammonites who gave Israel trouble for years (vv. 37-38).
New Testament: Matthew 6:25-7:14
Matthew 6:25-7:14 Great Concern
Still in the Sermon on the Mount. The end of chapter 6 is a great promise of God’s provision for us. When I was first saved, my life’s verse” was Matthew 6:33. Now it’s almost the equivalent in the Old Testament, Zephaniah 3:17.
God takes care of birds and animals and He will also take care of His disciples who are doing His will. Notice verse 34 contains a command not to worry. If we worry, it’s a sin! That greatly concerns me.
Chapter seven has the famous command not to judge anyone. Study this carefully. Notice that it cannot mean that we should never use critical judgment. Only five verses later we are commanded not to throw pearls to pigs. How can we know who the pigs are if we don’t think critically first? It means we are not to rob God of His judgment of bad people. Revenge is His, not ours (cf. Rom. 12:14-21).
Chapter 7, verse seven tells us to “ask” God for things. Notice the acrostic, “ask,” “seek,” “knock.” A-S-K. We are to be persistent.
Have you ever heard of the “golden rule”? Verse 12. Everyone used to know this rule but now it has fallen into disuse.
Verse 13 of chapter 7 indicates that lots of people will be going to Hell because comparatively few will look hard enough to find the way through Jesus (cf. John 14: 6, Jesus is the ONLY way, narrow enough?).
Awesome! Psalm 8:1-9 A Psalm Of Praise By David
Psalm 8:1-9 Awesome!
Sandi Patti sang a great song based on this psalm. Listen to it here.
This is a psalm of praise. David is praising the Lord. A great way to pray is to start with praise (see Your Feets Smell).
David begins by making definitive statements about Yahweh (vv. 2-3). God takes care of even babies. When David looks up, he is in awe of God (cf. Rom. 1:19-20).
David ponders God’s awesomeness when he looks up (v. 3). Then he wonders why God has any concern at all for people (v. 4).
Did you realize that men are ranked just below angels right now but in the future will be promoted above them? Verse 5 indicates that they are above us now but in the future men will judge angels (cf. 1 Cor. 6:3). The word for angel is elohim in the Hebrew and could be translated God as in the NASB. Obviously, we are below God.
Mankind is also more advanced than animals (vv. 6-8). Take that “fellow creatures” people! Sorry to be so harsh, but we are more advanced than the animals and birds.
Again, David sums things up by repeating his first line, “How majestic is Your name in all the earth!” (v. 9).
God is awesome!
Proverbs 2:6-15 A Great Deal!
I just saw an episode of a TV show in which the main character was so distraught and depressed that he was hunched up in a ball by his dresser. He didn’t know why the world was in such a mess and what to do about it. I can commiserate with him but I’m not as distraught . . . quite. I know why the world is such a mess. Most everybody, including that character, ignores God’s wisdom.
Those who seek Him are automatically deemed upright or righteous (v. 7, read You Can’t Touch This!). If you trust the Lord, you are generally humble (cf. Matt. 18:4). You are generally fearing the Lord (cf. Prov. 1:7). Here are your benefits:
v. 7 wisdom
v. 8 God will protect you
v. 9 you’ll be able to tell right from wrong
v. 10 you’ll be smart
v. 11 you will have discretion
v. 12-15 you’ll be guarded from evil people who don’t like God at all
You can be distraught or take God’s great deal.
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Choose Life: Scripture: Matthew 6:33 NASB “A Greater Force”
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
This used to be my favorite verse. It’s still up there. It says that if our priorities are the same as God’s, He’ll take care of us. An eighteenth century preacher and writer, Andrew Murray, said, “God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him.”
That saying sums up what Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:25-34. There Jesus tells His disciples that God takes care of the birds and even the delicate lilies out in the fields. He makes sure that they get fed and taken care of. Then He uses an “a fortiori” argument. An “a fortiori” argument means it is based on the “the greater force.” For example, if I would loan you a million dollars, I would certainly loan you ten dollars. Jesus is saying that if God takes care of lesser creatures and creations such as birds and flowers, He (with the greater force) would certainly take care of his greater creatures like His disciples.
Does that “greater force” strike you? It should hit you hard. God will take care of His own.
Do you belong to God? Are you putting God and His kingdom first in your life? If you are, you have nothing to worry about (cf. Matt. 6:34). God will make sure that you have all you need, food and clothing. In fact, you’ll be clothed better than Solomon (v. 29, I don’t think I’d want to wear a robe all the time, anyway).
Experience the “greater force” of God. Put the things of God first in your life.
If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!
Take a quick inventory. What are you trusting God for? Food? Clothes? A house? A ministry? Money? A spouse?
Then ask yourself, “Am I putting God first?” Ask God to help you be honest (cf. Ps. 19:14; 139:23-24).
If you are, you will be blessed.
God has promised to take care of you.
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: A Parking Lot