Genesis 8 – So He Thought

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There are so many things that crossed my mind this week as I read Chapter 8 of Genesis. Should I sit and study the significance of all the numbers mentioned in these verses(7, 150, 27, etc.)?  What about how Noah felt when the boat finally hit solid ground or when they stepped off the ark for the first time after all those months? And then there are those first few words of the chapter, “But God remembered Noah” that struck my heart. It’s amazing how many rabbit holes one can explore in just one chapter of scripture.

Even with all of those great topics and questions, I didn’t choose any of them. Instead, I chose verse 21 to meditate on.

When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, He said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, even though man’s inclination is evil from his youth. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done. Genesis 8:21

It’s incredible to consider that because of man’s actions, God destroyed “every” living thing on earth except for those on the ark. The neighborhood dogs, farm sheep, and donkeys certainly weren’t worshipping idols and living sinful lives of adultery, thievery, and lies. They suffered due to the actions of man (and woman). As much as that tugged at my heart, it was these three words, “He said to Himself” (Genesis 8:21, HCSB) that drew me in.

In other translations, it says God,  “thought to himself” (MSG) and “said in his heart” (KJV & ESV).  These are the thoughts that flooded into my heart.

First, I think or speak to myself often. When I studying, cooking, folding clothes, or in an unusual situation I’ve got all kinds of thoughts rolling around in my head. It’s a common, ordinary and human thing to do. Now, God is FAR from human, but I love to see this quality in our Creator. He did, after all, create us in His image. These few words give me an image of God that I can relate to and understand. With so many things we don’t and can’t understand in this world, it’s these small glimpses of God in us that draw me closer to Him.

Second, I adore how God was sure to include all we needed in the Bible. Even his thoughts. The words He spoke to His own heart. Some might argue that there isn’t a way we could be sure God really thought such a thing and dispute the Bible. I don’t argue that point at all. Why would our God, who allowed His Son to die for each of us on the cross so we could have eternal life, let that be tainted or ruined by allowing false statements into His written Word? I don’t think He would. Even as a mom, if something happens and my child is misrepresented or misunderstood I have a strong desire to clear the air and clarify things.

There is only one God, but He created us in His great image. So, even though we aren’t God’s, we have bits and pieces of God’s qualities and ways just as our own children do. After all, He is our Father in Heaven and we are all His children. Keep an eye out for other small traits or ways that show we are created in God’s image as we continue to study through Genesis.

I would love to hear how your journey through Genesis is going and how “listening” has improved, changed or challenge you in your Bible study.

 

 

 

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Genesis 7 – Trapdoors

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In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. And rain fell upon the earth forty days and forty nights.  Genesis 7:11-12

It’s interesting how something new can catch your eye in scripture. Today, it was the phrase, “windows of the heavens” that brought a clear and wonderful vision in my mind. There is something extraordinary about imagining my forever home and the home of my Father and King. I adore the image of God flinging up the windows of Heaven and throwing out His blessing upon us, so I wanted to explore more about this imagery and see if I could find it anywhere else in scripture.

In Genesis when the windows of the heavens open, the pouring rains are released. In Isaiah 24, the open windows of Heaven bring trembling to the Earth, in Malachi 3 we read if the windows of Heaven aren’t opened, blessings won’t be received. In 2 Kings 7, the windows of Heaven open to end a famine. The Message translation calls these windows of Heaven, “Trapdoors opening in the sky.”

As a child, it was secret small spaces and trap doors to the attic that intrigued me. Even my own children seek out these tiny hidden trapdoors and nooks in our home and yard to escape and set up covert camps. Just as we seek and crave these tiny spaces of secret and safety as children, God created us to seek and crave Him from deep in our hearts.

It’s a small space (a trapdoor) created within our hearts from the time of our conception that can only be filled and secured by the Creator. Our Father, King, and Savior. Just as the heavens can open to receive Him, so our hearts can too.

The definition of a trap door is “a door in a floor or ceiling that lead to another, often hidden room.” There is a trick to this trap door of the heart though. God won’t open it. He will knock and knock at it, but we have to be the one to open up. He will seek us, love us in the wait and never give up on us. The beauty of this is that once we open up the trap door to our heart, God will enter into that hidden place that He created in us. The space that only He can fill. He will complete us. His radiant light will restore, heal, and repair us from the inside out and shine from within us forever more.

Today, my prayer is that if you haven’t opened up the trap door in your heart to the saving grace of our Heavenly Father that you would allow Him in. Dust off the cobwebs and pull open the door. It may have been closed so long that it’s a little stuck and squeaky, but you can do it and God will help you. May your heart open to His peace, joy, love, and hope. You are loved!

Genesis 6 – Desire Not Demand

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Putting the Ark into Perspective

Two of everything—from the birds according to their kinds, from the livestock according to their kinds, and from the animals that crawl on the ground according to their kinds—will come to you so that you can keep them alive.  Genesis 6:20

As busy as I can be as a wife, mom, friend, daughter, and teacher, I’m pretty sure Noah may have me beat. Can you imagine building a boat this big without any of the modern tools we have today?! AnswersinGenesis.org helps us put its true size into perspective with a few facts:

  • It would take nearly one and a half football fields to equal the Ark’s length.
  • Sixty-two Smart Cars parked bumper to bumper would stretch from the Ark’s bow to stern.
  • NASA could lay three space shuttles—nose to tail—upon the Ark’s deck.
  • To float the Ark in an Olympic size swimming pool, you’d need to line up three of these large pools.
  • Noah’s Ark was a bit longer than twelve, forty-foot telephone poles laid end to end.
  • Using the standard boxcar, it would require lining up ten of them to equal the Ark’s length.

It doesn’t say exactly how long it took him, but we know it’s less than 120 years. Now that’s a longterm project. In that time, Noah wasn’t roaming the Earth searching out and gathering all the animals to put on the ark. God tells Noah, in Genesis 20, that the animals will come to him. I marvel at this image and want to reflect on it today as we consider how much we have in common with the creatures who came to Noah and boarded the ark.

As a forest fire, flood or snowstorm approaches, wild animals sense the danger and run towards humans.  Any other time, they are doing the opposite and run from us. I think the animals of Earth also sensed a great danger was approaching and ran to Noah for saving. God guided them to the great door of the ark.

This image reminded me of how fickle we can be as followers of Jesus. Running towards Him and breaking out the prayer journals in time of danger, stress, and fear. Only to set Him on a shelf and make our lives a DIY project when the snow has melted, the fire has been put out and the floods have receded.

How do we keep God front and center all year? How do set our internal GPS to seek Him always not just when we are in despair and lost? Life, to do lists, kids, activities, work, and families are so loud. They are always calling, beeping, tugging and in our faces demanding our attention. We can quickly jump and react without giving a second thought to the direction God desires.

God is ever-present, always waiting, but unassuming, and certainly never demands our love and attention. He desires it but doesn’t demand it. How do we make God the loudest and our top priority? Like everything else, it’s practice. Reading scripture every day, praying and conversing with Him throughout the day, seeking Him in our hearts for our daily purpose. We will never conquer this skill this side of Heaven, but we have His unending mercy and grace to keep us coming back over and over again. Sit at His feet this week. Run to Him when you are in despair and run to Him to share victory and praise. Run to Him in joy and uncertainty.

My prayer for us all this week is that we RUN TO HIM always!

 

 

Genesis 5 – How Old was He?

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Up until this point in Genesis, we have learned and focused on Creation and the story of Adam. It’s essentially a short biography of the first man God created in His image, but chapter 5 is where Adam’s story concludes and one of his descendant’s begins.

So, before we move on to Noah and the others in Adam’s bloodline, I want to consider something I hadn’t until this reading. Chapter 5 throws a lot of large numbers at us. There are people having babies at 130, 105 and 162 years of age and living over 800 years, but let’s focus on verses 3-5.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.

So, here’s the big question. . . How old was Adam when God created him? Had that question ever entered your mind? Crazy, right?! You may be well ahead of me, but I had never even considered this. (Side note: I just have to say, the Bible is so cool! You can read it over and over and every single time you glean a new insight that you missed the earlier time you read it.)

Genesis tells us that man was created in God’s image. So, I’m assuming Adam wasn’t created as an infant hanging out talking with God in the garden. So, how old was he? When God created Adam, was he 27, 35, 50 or 89 years old? Well, the Bible doesn’t say so I guess we won’t know until we get to Heaven, but I find this interesting to think about.

We could even take it a step farther and ask how old were the animals, stars, sun, and mountains when God created them? I can imagine how that would create another level to the debate between the evolutionists and creationists. Don’t worry! I’m not going down that road because I’m not qualified to go there! I’m more into the faith side of things. 

This week’s reading has reminded me that we don’t have to have all the answers. When we open God’s word it’s ok to ask questions, to wonder about His grand plan and majesty. We receive glimpses into His glory and Mighty works, but only He knows ALL. So dig in and wonder about the big and the small stuff. Ask the questions and start a dialogue. God’s great mystery is sometimes difficult or impossible to explain and comprehend, but it doesn’t make Him less real. In fact, to me, it makes him more real and I sit and marvel at His creative, imaginative love that He has displayed throughout the Universe from the beginning of time.

This week I pray we all open God’s word with the awe and wonder of a child. Ready to ask questions no matter how small and seek Him in new ways to discover Him on a deeper level.