Sunday, January 5, 2014

"The first 1,000 years ..."

Day #9:  Daily Bible Reading - January 6th

Scripture Reading:  Genesis 4-7 ...

"And God saw all that He had made, and it was very good" (1:31).  Then sin ... then death - spiritual death and physical death.  Mankind began their downward spiral towards destruction.  Mankind spread over the earth ... the land and continents all one, separated from the waters on the earth.  From the creation of Adam to the birth of Noah was just over 1,000 years.  "Men began to call of the LORD" (4:25), and there were men like Enoch, who walked with God and went to be with Him.  But most, nearly all of mankind continued their downward slide until finally God said, "Enough!"

"The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth and His heart was filled with pain" (6:5-6).  How different was the view from heaven from what it had been following God's marvelous creation!  All the suffering, pain and anguish that resulted from mankind's rebellion grieved the heart of God ... and God knew that it would only get worse ...

People without God are people who are spiritually dead and who are living life waiting to die.  They are, as Paul would describe later, "without God and without hope in the world" (Ephesians 2:12).  God's judgment is just, yet His purpose is much grander ... a new beginning.  The flood was about to come, but God had not forgotten His promise - the promise made as God cursed Satan:  "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; HE will crush your head, and you will strike His heel" (Genesis 3:15).

The rest is, as some say, "history."  Actually, approximately 4400-4500 years of history, from the flood until today.  And ALL of history centers around God's promise to send a Savior and to create a new heavens and a new earth.  The earth is not billions, or even millions of years old.  Mankind did not evolve and has not existed for millions of years.  "In the beginning, God created ..." (1:1) ... and God sent the promised Savior, to be the sacrifice for sin, "and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him" (Hebrews 9:28).

"Scoffers" have come, denying the truthfulness of God's Word from creation to the flood.  "They deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men" (II Peter 3:3-7).  "But in keeping with His promise WE are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" (II Peter 3:13).

It's all true, and if you believe ... if you believe these things, your life has value beyond anything you can imagine, for you are here because this God, the only true God, placed you here at this time for His purposes.  Know Him, seek Him, believe in Him, center your life in Him and find your hope in Him.  He IS!  And because He is, you ARE.  There will be another 1,000 years ... when Jesus returns ... and you won't want to miss this!!

"Heavenly Father, help us to discover in Your Word the solid ground we need to live in this world with wisdom and purpose, understanding that we are your special creation, existing for Your glory.  Every day is Yours.  May we use it to praise and glorify YOU, our Creator!  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen"

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