OYB 2009: 04 January

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:

Genesis 8:1-10:32 ◊ Matthew 4:12-25 ◊ Psalm 4:1-8 ◊ Proverbs 1:20-23

God's Promises - OT:

21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

22 "As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease."

Genesis 8:21-22 (NIV)

It is reassuring to know that God has promised that the continuity of seasons and time will endure as long as the earth does. While there are times in our lives during which we wish time could stand still, there are also those times during which we take comfort in knowing that "this too shall pass", and that what we are going through is only temporary.

I must admit, though, that I don't entirely understand the first part of the promise: that God will never again curse the ground because of man. On the one hand, I don't know if this promise bounds the consequences handed down to Adam after the fall, though it certainly doesn't nullify them - as man still must toil to produce crops from the ground. At the very least, this promise should disprove subsequent claims - be they biblical or more modern - that God has "cursed" the ground due to sin or sinfulness of man. Certainly drought and famine are part of our world; however, they are caused not by God but rather are a symptom of the fallen world in which we live.

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."

12 And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

17 So God said to Noah, "This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth."

Genesis 9:8-17 (NIV)

This covenant between God and all life on the earth is one of the most well-known covenants in all of Scripture. The rainbow is a sign visible still today that God has promised never again to destroy all life on earth via flood.

God's Promises - NT:

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."

Matthew 4:19 (NIV)

Jesus makes this promise specifically to Simon Peter and Andrew, but its application can be generalized: God has given each of us specific skills and abilities, has placed each of us in specific circumstances in life, and intends for us a specific plan and purpose for our lives to use those skills, abilities, and circumstances for His glory.

One Year Bible Blog

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today, which asks:

We read about Jesus calling Peter and Andrew in the Gospel of Matthew today. Do you think Jesus still calls people today? Can you share with everyone in the Comments section below a time in your life when felt that you were called by Jesus? Maybe it was a time when you were called to follow Jesus for the first time or maybe it was a call to love or serve others in a new way for you? Do you think that Jesus is calling you to something new in your life now in 2009? Do you know what Jesus is calling you to do? Will you do it?

God absolutely still calls people today - a fact to which I can attest personally. I have recognized a call to the mission field from as early as 12 or 13 years old. Since then, God has provided me opportunities to realize that calling via short-term mission work, though I look forward to the day when I can fulfill that calling full-time. In the meantime, I remain patient, knowing that God has also called me to be a husband and father, and has placed me in the circumstances (location, career, etc.) in which I find myself.

I am thankful that I have a family with whom I can share this eventual calling. I also find it fascinating that my grandfather, after he was saved, wanted to become a missionary. He never got to do so, and I believe that, if he had a calling to mission work from God, that his calling was passed on. I pray that the call on my life may also pass on to my children, as well; but I know that, whatever God's calling on their lives will be, He will be glorified.