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.

OYB Blogroll Additions January 3

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

More additions to the 2007 OYB Blogroll:

IndyChristian and Loving Change (IndyChristian), welcome to the OYB Blogroll! (And hello from an Indy native!)

Red Threads (Ray), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

Morsels From God (Johnnie Ruth Hamill), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

How To Watch Any NFL Game (Free)

Filed in SportsTags: Internet

I would credit whomever first pointed out this SportsFaction article, but I can't remember. The article discusses how to use two tools - SopCast and TVUPlayer - to watch online the NFL games not aired in your local TV market. The article also links to the Streaming NFL Games blog.

I won't vouch for the legality of using such services, and I'm sure the NFL, with its draconian, fan-agnostic broadcast rules and policies, won't like the use of such services. Use at your own risk. Or, considering the way the NFL seems to be forgetting its fans, feel free, as SportsFaction says, to "Go fly a kite with a hole in it."

OYB January 3

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 5-7
NT: Matthew 3:7-17, Matthew 4:1-11
Ps: Psalm 3
Pr: Proverbs 1:10-19

Gospel Thread - OT:

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.

Genesis 5:21-24 (NIV)

Enoch and Noah foreshadow John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Enoch is a type of herald, and Noah is a type of Messiah. Green Baggins explains the connection:

So how do we see Christ portrayed in these obscure verses from the Old Testament? Well, first of all we have to see that Enoch was just like Elijah, who was just like John the Baptist. Elijah was the second person that God took away without seeing death. Death has been cheated twice; once for Enoch, and once for Elijah. Enoch is another kind of John the Baptist. He precedes Noah, who is the type of Jesus Christ. The word “type” here means a person or a thing or an idea that is a shadow of the reality. A “type” points to something to come later on. A “type” corresponds in at least one recognizable way with that reality. Enoch corresponds to John the Baptist, because Enoch is a herald of Noah. He is the one who comes before. This means that Noah is the “type” of Jesus Christ. Just as all the world would be descended from Noah, so also all Christians would be descended from Christ. There would be one world family in Noah, and so there will be one world of Christians in Jesus Christ. Noah underwent a baptism in the ark, and Jesus underwent the baptism of his death and resurrection. The only way anyone could be saved in Noah’s day was by being inside the ark. The only way anyone can be saved now (normally) is by belonging to Christ’s body, the church. There is no ordinary possibility of salvation outside the true church of Jesus Christ. We will explore those connections in the weeks to come as we look at Noah.

I would also like to point out something interesting put together by Chuck Missler, from the names of the line of descent from Adam to Noah: Adam (Man), Seth (Appointed), Enosh (Mortal), Kenan (Sorrow), Mahalalel (The Blessed), Jared (Shall Come Down), Enoch (Teaching), Methuselah (His Death Shall Bring), Lamech (The Despairing), Noah (Rest or Comfort) - which he combines to construct:

Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.

Read the article for the explanation of the root names. Perhaps it is contrived, or coincidence, but at the very least, it's interesting to consider.

Gospel Thread - NT:

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

Matthew 4:1-2 (NIV)

I note the similarity between the 40 day/40 night flood endured by Noah the type of Christ, and the 40 day/40 night fast endured by Christ himself (as well as other instances of 40 day/40 night or 40 day references in the Bible - such as Moses' 40 days/40 nights on Mt. Sinai). However, I need to do further study to know whether this period of time has spiritual symbolism/significance or it simply a practical (and highly accurate) means of time-keeping among the ancients.

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: " 'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" 7 Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "

Matthew 4:5-7 (NIV)

This exchange is the second of Satan's three temptations of Christ. I point it out here to highlight not how Jesus responded, but how he didn't respond. Satan is taunting Jesus here - goading Him with a Messianic psalm. Jesus does not refute or deny that the psalm refers to Him, but rather counters that to attempt to invoke the words of the psalm would be a violation of the command not to test God. Thus, Jesus is implicitly confirming his identity as the Messiah.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people. Selah

Psalm 3:8 (NIV)

Both the deliverance and blessing from the Lord come through Jesus Christ.

OYB Photo of the Day:

"The Dove Sent Forth From the Ark"

The Dove Sent Forth From the Ark
Gustave Dore

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today.

OYB January 2

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 3-4
NT: Matthew 2:13-23, Matthew 3:1-6
Ps: Psalm 2
Pr: Proverbs 1:7-9

Gospel Thread - OT:

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

Genesis 3:15 (NIV)

How exciting! Today, in the story of man's fall into sin, we read the Bible's very first instance of messianic prophecy - and even spoken by God Himself! This verse is often called the protoevangelium, or "First Gospel", and is explained in excellent detail by Jake Porter. Answers in Genesis explains why the Gospel demands a literal interpretation of Genesis. Christianity Is Jewish has further commentary.

Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

Genesis 3:20 (NIV)

Adam (man) named his wife Eve (living) - here we see that Adam understood and took God's intended encouragement from verse 15, that from Eve would come One who would overcome evil, and restore life to mankind.

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21 (NIV)

Perhaps overlooked in this verse is a subtle foreshadowing of Christ's atoning sacrifice. In order literally to clothe the nakedness of Adam and Eve, God killed a (presumably) innocent animal - thus illustrating that the figurative clothing of mankind's sinfulness requires the shedding of the blood of an innocent sacrifice.

3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Genesis 4:3-5 (NIV)

In these verses we see more of the gospel. First, the requirement for the sacrifice of innocent blood for atonement is reiterated. Second, as explained in Hebrews 11:4, God credits righteousness through one's faith in the atoning sacrifice. The Way of Righteousness gives a good explanation, summarized here:

However, in past generations, God's plan of salvation required animal sacrifices. But Cain ignored God's plan. Cain came up with another way, a religion of his own making. Cain created the first false religion. He brought to God the works of his own hands. He sacrificed to God that which he had cultivated, that is, the produce of the cursed earth, which has no blood. Did God accept such a bloodless "sacrifice"? No, God did not accept it.

As for Abel, he brought to God a lamb without blemish and slaughtered it so that the blood was shed. After that he burned it. Because of that sacrifice, Abel had a clear conscience before God. He knew that, in himself, he deserved to die, but the innocent lamb had died in his place. Thus, Abel testified to his faith in the Redeemer who would come into the world, to die in the place of sinners, to bear the punishment for their sin.

Genesis chapter 4 also introduces the divergent lines of descent from Adam, and the struggle between good (line of Seth) and evil (line of Cain) prophecied in 3:15 and carried throughout Scripture from Adam to Christ. More on that, tomorrow.

Gospel Thread - NT:

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

Matthew 2:14-15 (NIV)

From the NIV footnotes, these verses fulfill the prophecy of Hosea 11:1.

16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Matthew 2:16-18 (NIV)

From the NIV footnotes, these verses fulfill the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15.

22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene."

Matthew 2:22-23 (NIV)

These verses fulfill apply both to the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1 ("A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit." and the prophecy of Isaiah 53:3 ("He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."), as explained here by Dennis Bratcher:

In Hebrew, the word "branch" is netzer, actually only three consonantal letters: NZR. Note that the town NaZaReth contains the same three primary letters (plus an ending often attached to nouns). In the Aramaic form of Nazareth, (Aramaic was the common language spoken by most Israelites after the exile; some have suggested that the entire book of Matthew was originally written in Aramaic rather than Greek), it comes very close in sound to the Hebrew word for "branch."

It seems, then, that Matthew was not at all "mistaken" in this Old Testament reference, although he was certainly not exegeting Isaiah. He was identifying the obscure Galilean town of Nazareth in which Jesus grew up with the OT reference to a netzer God would raise up to bring justice and righteousness and peace to His people. In other words, this was the means Matthew used to identify Jesus, even as a child returning to an obscure town in remote Galilee ("can any good thing come from Nazareth?" -John 1:47), as the "King" from the line of David whom God had finally raised up to restore His people.

1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.' "

Matthew 3:1-3 (NIV)

From the NIV footnotes, these verses fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3.

Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

Matthew 3:6 (NIV)

To my knowledge, here we find the first usage in the Bible of baptism for sins. John's baptism - which Jesus Himself undergoes - symbolizes one's burial with Christ and death to sin, and resurrection with and new life in Christ.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

Psalm 2 is a messianic psalm! Some notable verses:

6 "I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill."
7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."

Psalm 2:6-9 (NIV)

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 2:12 (NIV)

OYB Image of the Day:


A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Isaiah 11:1)
Image © Lorna Effler

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today, with several questions of the day, including:

What is your reaction to reading about The Fall in Genesis today? Is it painful to read about The Fall after reading about The Creation yesterday?

I don't really think the story of the Fall of man is painful; honestly, I think it was inevitable. God created beings with free will - both his angels, and mankind - and knew both of Satan's rebellion and man's rebellion. I read the story with thanksgiving, knowing that God placed everything in order from the very beginning of creation to implement His plan of redemption. Mankind committed the greatest atrocity possible: the breaking of perfect, complete fellowship with God - and yet in the midst of man's rebellion God promised the redeem mankind and to destroy the power of sin that Satan wielded over man. What a wonderful, mighty, loving God we serve!

OYB Blogroll Additions January 1

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Lots of new additions today to the 2007 OYB Blogroll:

Jenz Thoughts and Feelings (Jenz), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

Atropica (Patrick), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

Ever Looking Upwards (Romayne), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

Dawn 119:176 (Kimella), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

Mrs. G. (Leslie), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

JazzCaster (Karen), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

A Lily Among the Thorns (Tiffany), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

Gloria's Musings (Gloria), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

Joy in the Morning (Loni), welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

2007 OYB Blogroll

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, One Year Bible

I will be continuing to maintain the blogroll for OYB bloggers in 2007. Here's the output:

Here's the code:

And, thanks to the From Knowledge to Wisdom blog, for putting together the original blogroll list, from which this blogroll was developed in 2006!

OYB January 1

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Genesis 1-2
NT: Matthew 1, Matthew 2:1-12
Ps: Psalm 1
Pr: Proverbs 1:1-6

OYB Theme for 2007: The Gospel Thread
On this year's One Year Bible journey, rather than just listing "notable" verses from each day's readings, I am instead going to go through the year following a theme (something I intend to continue in future years, with different themes each year). The theme for 2007 is "The Gospel Thread" - a theme borne out of a Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) study of the book of Genesis. The lecture the first week made the point that the Gospel of Christ can be found as a consistent thread throughout the entire Bible. As I have read through the Bible, I have often noticed this thread. This year, as I go through the One Year Bible, I will make note of all references to God's plan for salvation through Jesus Christ.

Gospel Thread - OT:

2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV)

Genesis chapter 2 is so rich with the foundation of God's redemptive plan for His creation! Here we begin with the ordination of the Sabbath rest, symbolic of mankind's eternal rest in Messiah (see Hebrews 4:1-10).

8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2:8-9 (NIV)

We continue with the first, definitive reference to Jesus Christ (that I could find): the Tree of Life in the middle of the garden of Eden. The correlation between the Tree of Life and Messiah exists in several places in Scripture. The HebRoots website lists the following references: Prov. 3:1, Prov. 3:4, Prov. 3:13, Prov. 3:17-18, Psalm 19:7-8, Psalm 19:10, Psalm 1:1-3, Jeremiah 17:7-8, Psalm 92:12, Revelation 22:1-2. (Be sure also to read the site's interesting explanation of the fifth and sixth creation days in light of God's plan for Creation.)

As Answers in Genesis explains, the correlation between the Tree of Life and Jesus Christ is eternal life; that is, the Tree of Life is symbolic of the source of eternal life - that source, of course, being Jesus Christ.

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Genesis 2:16 (NIV)

Here we find one of God's first commandments to man, and with it, man's first exposure to sin. God also reveals what we know from Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (note also, this verse ties back into the previous point of eternal life through Christ). Earlier, in Genesis 1:28, God gave man another charge: God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." - and man's failure to fulfill this charge as well also played into his downfall. Also in this charge, we see that God created Adam as a "type" of Christ, and where the First Adam fails, the Last Adam - Jesus Christ - succeeds (see I Corinthians 15:42-48); mankind was created physically and died through the First Adam, and mankind finds eternal life and will be raised spiritually in the Last Adam.

23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Genesis 2:23-24 (NIV)

Here we find the institution of marriage, which is a foreshadowing of Christ's perfect union with His church (see Ephesians 5:32). The above-mentioned HebRoots website article also explains that Adam's wounds are symbolic of Christ's wounds suffered on the cross.

Gospel Thread - NT:

The entire book of Matthew is one of the four gospels of Christ.

21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."

Matthew 1:21-23 (NIV)

From the NIV footnotes: "Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the LORD saves." Again from the footnotes, the prophet quoted in verse 23 is Isaiah 7:14.

3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 6 " 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"

Matthew 2:3-6 (NIV)

From the NIV footnotes: Christ means "Messiah". Again, from the footnotes, the prophet quoted in verse 6 is Micah 5:2.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Matthew 2:11 (NIV)

Many believe the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to be symbolic of Jesus' royalty, divinity, and atoning death, respectively.

Gospel Thread - Psalms/Proverbs:

He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.

Psalm 1:3 (NIV)

Here the tree symbolism extends to the "planting" of one in God's Word; the tree here symbolizes the blessing of life and prosperity for the believer.

OYB Image of the Day

Psalm 1:3

Psalm 1:3
Photo © jamesj

The One Year Bible Blog´s comments for today, whose question of the day includes a "roll call":

1. Have you read the entire Bible before? 2. Why do you want to read the entire Bible in 2007? 3. What are you looking forward to about reading the entire Bible in 2007? 4. Is there anything you might be nervous about in terms of reading the entire Bible in 2007? 5. What's your favorite book or verse in the Bible? 6. What's a fun or interesting fact about yourself? 7. Do you have a blog or website link that you can share with everyone?

  1. 2006 was the first year I read through the entire Bible in a structured manner.
  2. Having started, I intend to make a yearly reading-through of the Bible a habit.
  3. Well, I'm looking forward to documenting the "Gospel Thread", but I also look forward to new light and revelation in general.
  4. If today's post is any indication, I might need about two hours a day!
  5. Paul is my favorite author, and Philippians is my favorite book. Philippians 3 is my favorite chapter. I have too many favorite verses to be able to pick just one.
  6. 2007 will be the year I: turn 30, get married, and become a father - talk about a monumental year!
  7. I will continue to follow the OYB blog here at www.chipbennett.net.