Re:Verse reading–1 Samuel 3 (day three)
“The lamp of God had not yet gone out.” Throughout scripture, people have despaired of all hope, only to find that God has not lost track of them: The children of Israel’s cries, God told Moses, had reached his ears; Samuel cowering in the cave heard God say that he was not the only God-fearing person left after all; Mary realized that through her womb God had brought down rulers and lifted up the humble; Paul, though everyone had deserted him, was delivered from the lion’s mouth of his accusers. Through all of these events shone the glow that said the lamp of God had not gone out, not yet. With God, there will always be a not-yet moment—a revelation that you are not at the mercy of the circumstances, but rather at the mercy of God.
Re:Verse reading–1 Samuel 3 (day two) Then Eli discerned that the Lord was calling the boy. Vs. 8b
Have you ever worked a riddle, a puzzle, or some problem over in your head for what seemed like forever only to have someone who had experience with that particular problem explain it away in a matter of seconds. It can be both frustrating and rewarding. You know the answer is there, but you don’t have the experience or knowledge to figure it out. Sometimes God calls, he sends signals, he gives hints, and then he sends some of his veterans to help you fill in the gaps. I am so grateful to know so many faithful believers who have spent their lives in the service in the Lord and who have seen him work through their lives and the lives of others. Surround yourself with believers young and old. Share your story, and listen as they share theirs. Then marvel at the way God reveals himself through a church who desires every generation to know and love the Lord.
Re:Verse reading–1 Samuel 3 (day one)
It is a great gift to be raised by intentional, believing parents. (Samuel’s Mom is an example, and to some extent, his Father as well–cf chapter 1) He never knew a moment in life when the he did not have encouragement and instruction to trust God. See 2 Timothy 3:15 for a similar story.
It is not enough. Knowing about God in childhood faith must give way to knowing God in personal experience of his word. “Samuel didn’t know the Lord (yet) nor had the word of the Lord (the reality of God speaking to him) been revealed”–v 7.
It is equipment He (all of us) will need. Young Samuel will immediately be called on to deliver a painful message to Eli. Heavy assignment for such a young believer!
The Lord still calls and qualifies His children in the same way. “Those who are lead by the Spirit, these are the sons of God.”–Romans 8:14
Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:10-32 (day seven)
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of faith“–Galatians 6:10.
It was an amazing family. Kennedy-esque. We tend to see faith’s formation as an individual process. (God spoke to me, I have a personal faith) The Bible places equal value on the influence of family.
Since Noah lived 950 years (Genesis 9:28) most calculations have him alive 58 years after Abraham’s birth! Did they see each other at family reunions? Shem lived 600 years and didn’t die until Jacob (Jacob!) was 48. Shem and Eber both outlived Abraham! Through this family, God carried forward lessons of faith into each generation.
The church is designed to be such a family. “Young men shall see visions, and old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:14) Senior Adult and Seniors in High School, living together the shared lessons of faith. One family. Learning/living/telling each other of a glorious God.
Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:10-32 (day six)
Did you know that Shem is one of our spiritual forefathers? It’s true. The line of Shem runs straight to Jesus, and then extends to His church. This genealogy is a reminder that God is at work fulfilling what He has promised- the destruction of sin and death, and the restoration of humanity. We are the recipients of that fulfilled promise through Jesus, while God is also completing His Kingdom work through us . We are the light of the world, salt of the earth, image bearers of the glory of God displayed in us through the Gospel.
We share in a rich heritage of Kingdom fulfillment! Here is the exciting news, the church by the power of the Gospel will conclude what God started so long ago!
Own your spiritual heritage! Continue the Gospel work!
Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:10-32 (day five)
It is wonderful to think about and appreciate the power, wisdom, and sovereignty of God. His love and plan extends thru generations of people. His awareness and involvement spans over the course history. These traits never cease to be at work. He is large and mighty. These genealogies describe a God who wills and works through the whole human race. “For God so loved the world.” A God of this magnitude deserves our wonder and our worship.
But if we say His desire is to work through all of us, then we must also say that his desire is to work through each of us. Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do YOU say that I am?” We must also answer the same question. Personally. Individually. A God who is this personal will require trust and obedience from all of us and each of us.
Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:10-32 (day four)
This passage covers almost two centuries of time. It was a very significant time in the history of the earth. Nations were developing, the Ice Age was occurring…but man was in rebellion against God. None of this history is recorded in Scripture, but that does not mean God was not at work. He was preserving the messianic line and His work was on schedule.
Have you ever felt that God was not at work in your life? You could not see Him doing anything? Oftentimes, we fail to see God at work, because there is rebellion in our hearts. Our lack of clear vision does not equate to inactivity on His part! God is at work and His work is right on His schedule. “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me I the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:10-32 (day three)
“They set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan.”
A death within the family of Terah ushered in a restlessness that fueled a movement westward. They didn’t go as far as they had envisioned; loss seemed to weigh them down, and the name of their stopping place reflected the memory of the brother and son whose death so deeply etched their lives with grief. Wanderlust would continue to roil Abram’s life, and into that nomadic spirit God would speak. Restlessness was not a bug, it was a feature through which God worked to establish a people and a promise. Sometimes discontent isn’t ingratitude, but rather an honest question: Where is God?
Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:10-32 (day two) Terah became the father of Abram vs. 27b
Often we spend our lives trying to be the one. You know, the one who cures cancer, or the one who breaks the record, makes the money, invents the machine, etc. We live in a place that encourages doers. As a people we are achievers, dreamers of dreams, risk takers.
What if that isn’t your assignment? What if, your job is to parent the one, and not be the one? What do we know of Terah, of Jesse, of Joseph? Their role was not to be a father of nations, the king of Israel, or the savior of the world. Their role was to shepherd the one who would be.
What if the child for whom you have prayed has an assignment that shapes the world? Does that diminish yours? Not in the least. The tears, the prayers, the guidelines you set forth for them will be the framework for who they become. Shape them well. Their story is yours.
Re:Verse reading–Genesis 11:10-32 (day one)
“Terah took Abram his son. . .and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan.”–v 31.
It has been rocky so far. The relationship between God and men. First, a flood to destroy the world. Afterward, things aren’t much better.
Swiftly the race of men drifts away from God. They (we) build cities and towers without any reference to God’s will or word. Seeking glory for themselves, they begin to experience His active opposition. (Genesis 11:1-9. Last week’s lesson)
Then, a new thing begins! Hopeful. History-changing! The story of God telescopes down to a single life. Abram. The rest of Genesis, and the Bible, and history and eternity tells the story of this life.
Many travel the wide road that ignores God and seeks success apart from Him. Only a few (and sometimes only one) travel the narrow road that believes God. And the world is never the same!