Monday, January 16, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Genesis 8-11
We return to our study of Genesis as we continue reading through the Bible in a year. It is not too late to take up the challenge of reading through the Bible and I trust my feeble attempt at authoring a Daily Devotional from a portion of each day’s reading assignment will be a blessing to you. Today’s assignment is Genesis 8-11.
The historical narrative of the universal flood began in Genesis 6 where we read, “5 the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man…” (Genesis 6:5).
Out of all the earth, one man “found grace [divine favor] in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8), for unlike men of his day, “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9). The last four words of verse 9 answers the question, “Why did God spare Noah and his family?” The answer, Noah was a man of faith, who “walked with God”. While wickedness and rebellion were universal, Noah alone believed God, called upon Him and walked with Him.
Because he was a man of faith who “walked with God”, God spared Noah and his family from the greatest cataclysmic event to ever come upon the earth. It rained upon the earth 40 days and 40 nights (7:12,17) and, when the rains stopped, the waters covered the earth another 150 days. The story of God’s universal judgment is interrupted with a phrase that is a joy to read, “God remembered Noah…” (Genesis 8:1). Altogether, Noah and his family would remain in the Ark 370 days (Genesis 8:14-16).
After leaving the Ark, Noah’s first act as the priest of his household was to offer a sacrifice to God (Genesis 8:20-21a), acknowledging God’s salvation, mercy and grace in sparing him and his family. Accepting Noah’s sacrifice, God set a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of his covenant with man to never again destroy the earth with universal floodwaters (Genesis 9:11-13).
Sadly, following Noah’s sacrifice, we read about his shame and the reality that the best of men are sinners. Noah became a farmer after the flood and planted a vineyard (Genesis 9:20), contenting himself with the fruit of his labor. The juice made from the grapes of the vineyard inevitably fermented and Noah became drunk, lacking the consciousness of his condition, he exposed himself. We read in Genesis 9:22 that Ham “saw [i.e. with a mocking, scornful gaze] the nakedness of his father”.
Awakening from his drunken stupor, Noah was enraged by Ham’s scorn and cursed him with a prophecy that would follow Ham’s lineage throughout human history… “a servant of servants shall he [Ham and his lineage] be unto his brethren [the descendants of Shem and Japheth] (Genesis 9:26-27).
Many have observed that a man’s weakness is often exposed following his greatest victory. In Noah’s case, that statement was true. He had been a faithful preacher to the world and a godly testimony to his family before the flood. Following the flood, Noah let down his guard and became drunk with wine. We might conjecture that Noah’s physical strength was failing; perhaps his wife had died, and his sons were occupied tending their own lands and raising their families. Whatever the reason, Noah’s last years were scarred by his moral failure and the sorrow of a son who held him in contempt.
To those who, like this writer, are conscious we are not getting any younger, let’s takeaway a spiritual lesson from today’s reading and heed three challenges:
- Get your eyes off yourself and focus on the LORD and His promises.
- Rejoice in the life God has given you and vow to serve Him until the day you die.
- Quit talking about what you use to do and find something to do and be a blessing to others.
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith