We are on day 9 of blogging through the Bible using the Murray M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan
After the judgement comes renewed blessing of the new creation. Be fruitful and multiply is the first command, echoing the first command of Genesis 1 to Adam & Eve.
They are no meat eaters, but must be aware of the sanctity of life, but not eating meat with blood in it. There must be no human bloodshed at all.
The rainbow becomes a sign of God’s covenant grace. God hangs up His bow – where rain had been the weapon to judge mankind, there will be no more global floods so the bow is hung up in the sky!
The nasty paragraph of Noah’s drunkenness – even good faithful people fall into sin. Ham dishonours his father and so is cursed through his line – Canaan who over the next millenia will be a cause of much temptation to Israel to sin.
Chapter 10 outlines 70 people as Noah and his sons work at fulfilling God’s command to repopulate the earth. In a sense Noah is a 2nd Adam, blessing all the peoples of the earth.
Israel has been inter-marrying with the evil non believrs around them including those pesky Canannites. Ezra is appalled at the sin and those who termble at the words of God join him in mourning, then repenting and praying. Even in the prayer Ezra recognises God’s gracious hand as a firm place (lit: tent peg) protecting them from being blown away.
The healing of the paralytic shows Christ’s power over sin. “Your sins are forgiven” is something only God can do and so the Pharisees accuse him of blasphemy.
Matthew the hated tax collector becomes a disciple – even the most hardened and unlikely people can be saved. Don’t give up praying for friends and family and sharing the Gospel with them! Don’t pre-judge people – they will never respond. The softening of hearts is God’s business.
Michael Green: Jesus brings “new sight for the blind, new speech for the dumb, new health for the sick and new life for the dead”
Old wineskins can’t hold this new wine of the kingdom. Old regulations about ceremonial defilement can’t stand before the joy of forgiveness, fellowship, excitement and new direction in the new Kingdom of God.
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few – I can see this with our youth group – we have a growing group of 11-14years olds, mainly girls and desparately need a female helper to lead them to Christ and disciple them. In Luke, Jesus told the disicples the harvest is plentiful, pray for workers and promptly sent them out as answers to their own prayer. Could you be the answer to our prayers?
Saul is an example of conversion of the most unlikely people – a persecutor of Christians, breathing murderous threats and an accomplice in the murder of Stephen. As unlikely a candidate for salvation as Richard Dawkins! But salvation is God’s business – we are called to be witnesses and share the gospel and God will do His thing!
Saul has a divine encounter and then Ananias, faithful and obedient follows him through to becoming a disciple and baptised in the Spirit. Note the initial sign of baptism in Spirit is scales falling of Saul’s eyes, so we have no right to be dogmatic that it must be tongues. Although like Saul/Paul we want everyone to speak in tongues!
Keep praying for friends and sharing the Gospel – we are looking forward to Sunday testimonies of witnessing/divine encounters.
Are you our female youth helper who will get to be part of bringing a harvest in?
Are you filled with the Spirit?