3 January: Genesis 6-8, John 2, Psalm 3
- Although every inclination of every thought of man was ONLY EVIL all the time, Noah stands out as an exception before God. And that's enough for God to show mercy on his creation, creatures that flatly rejected their Creator. Later in this reading (8:20-21) God reiterates the pervasive evil in mankind. Is Noah included in this description? Proponents of the "total depravity of man" doctrine point to this section of Scripture to support the idea that man cannot seek, believe, or desire God (until God first acts upon them with an irresistible grace that regenerates them). I think that I've fought against that idea to the point of overestimating my spiritual condition prior to my regeneration (in baptism). I will reflect throughout the day today on how evil I really was — as well as how deeply I needed the intervention of a savior. I did not pull myself up by own spiritual bootstraps. But I was able to respond to God's intervention. Amen.
- This is the first mention of "clean animals" as well as the first mention of men and women eating animals.
- God uses water to wipe out all evil and leave only a righteous remnant on the earth. 1 Peter 3 sees this as a prefiguring of NT baptism by which we have our sins washed away and our consciences made right. I'll keep that in mind every time I see a rainbow. I was saved by a God who had special mercy on me.
- The wedding at Cana! It's great to be excited about biblical passage after biblical passage through this reading plan.
- Here is our first sign in John's gospel so that we might believe. This first sign is an overabundance of blessing by Jesus whereby the end is even better than the beginning. Jesus is saving the "best till now" in this miracle. I'm sure we'll understand this better as we behold the new heaven and the new earth.
- Cleansing the Temple. Jesus has conviction on matters that have dulled the discernment of other worshipers. The courts have been compromised, and no one else can see it. Even if they do see it, they've lost the edge to speak up. Not so for Jesus; he makes a whip and makes a statement. The Jews in the temple demand a sign for his authority to rebuke them. I'll need to be careful today to reflect on a humility that does not resist a reproof (or even a rebuke). Plus, I will ask God to give me a discernment and sensitive spirit to speak up (and make a whip if needed) when His righteousness is compromised.
- This must have been a harrowing time for David. His son has usurped his throne and his former supporters have turned against him. It's hard enough to endure the criticism of detractors — how much more the reversal of family and dear friends. Still, David finds his way to peace in the Lord. Great Psalm, but I hope I don't need it for comfort any time soon.