OYB January 4

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 8-10
NT: Matthew 4:12-25
Ps: Psalm 4
Pr: Proverbs 1:20-23

Gospel Thread - OT:

When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

Genesis 8:11 (NIV)

Throughout Scripture, the olive is a symbol of God's peace and blessing - which, of course, comes to us through Christ. Lee Woof explains this symbolism:

It is no accident that the dove with the olive leaf in its mouth has become a symbol of peace. Olives were the source of the oil in the lamps that lit the people's houses, and also in the lamps that gave light in the temple of God. Olives represent God's love and kindness working in peoples actions.

Here it is explained from the perspective of Judaism (and also an explanation for how the olive tree symbolizes the Holy Land:

The end of the flood is the end of G-d’s war against man. The dove with the olive leaf in its beak is the first sign that the flood is over and it has come to represent a symbol of peace.

This site further explains how the olive/olive branch symbolize peace, developing the symbolism to include forgiveness, gratitude, hope, and, love (all of which Christians find in and through Christ):

In this case, "peace" must have a deeper meaning that includes profound emotions such a sight would trigger – forgiveness, gratitude, hope, love – not simply the absence of war (unless you felt at war with God or nature's God).

If you recall from yesterday's comments, the Branch is symbolic of the Messiah. We will further explore the symbolism of the olive and olive tree as we advance through the Bible.

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: 9 "I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you 10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth."

Genesis 9:8-11 (NIV)

This covenant, the Noahic covenant detailed in verses 1-7, is the second of six Old Testaments (Edenic, Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic) leading up to the complete, perfect, seventh, New Covenant of Christ. (I neglected to point out the Edenic covenant in Genesis 2:28-30 and the Adamic covenant in Genesis 3:17-19.) Each of the six preceding covenants point to the coming Messiah, and in Christ each preceding covenant is perfected, completed, and fulfilled. The Noahic covenant introduces the altar, upon which the animal sacrifice is offered to God.

26 He also said, "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. 27 May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave."

Genesis 9:26-27 (NIV)

The full text of Noah's prophecy here is incredibly profound in terms of socio-political world history. It is worth a study of its own. But specifically in terms of the gospel, here we see that the descendants of Shem (the Shemites - or Semites) are given the unique blessing of relationship with God. Indeed, it will be through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-Israel through whom God gives his Law and Covenants, and eventually, His Son, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. (Note, we also see that this prophecy also gives a place for God's blessing to extend to the descendants of Japheth, who "may live in the tents of Shem...")

Gospel Thread - NT:

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."

Matthew 4:12-15 (NIV)

From the NIV footnotes, this fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-2.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah

Psalm 4:2 (NIV)

This verse could refer to Christ, since "turn my glory into shame" is alternately translated "dishonor my Glorious one", according to the footnotes. Not going to delve too deeply on that one, though.

OYB Photo of the Day:

Blessed be the Lord

Blessed be the Lord... (Genesis 9:26)

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.