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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB January 3

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Jan 03
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Genesis
The ages of people in these days is thought to be due to the fact that, before the flood, there may have been some kind of water canopy over the earth. There was likely a significant reduction in ultra-violet rays as well as a high concentration of oxygen. Also, there was no pollution or chemicals, and probably few genetic weaknesses or illnesses. Hey, if you think 50 years in a bad marriage now is a long time… ☺

5:1-32 This used to be a boring old genealogy to me. Not anymore. Interestingly, while there were many lineages during this time because all of these people had other children, this is the line of Messiah, and is the only line that the Genesis account keeps track of (see Luke 3:37-38). Might that make it more significant?

The Flood: How did Noah bring all those huge animals on a boat of any size? My most intelligent guess is babies—eat less, take up less room. In certain ancient cultures and languages like Chinese, there are characters depicting a flood and legends of a great flood handed down for centuries. Also, the receding of a flood of such magnitude explains the quick formation of large canyons that evolutionists say took “millions of years to form.”

6:3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.” Some commentaries argue that the intent of the original text was not the span of man’s life, but how long until the flood would take place.

6:4 (see 2 also) In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times.

The best possible explanation for this verse I’ve ever read comes out of a Bible Commentary by David Guzik. David’s theory follows: Quite possibly the “sons of God” were demons, because that is how this term is used in three other places in the Old Testament (Job 1:6, 2:1, and 38:7). Also, Jude 6 tells us of the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation. Jude goes on (Jude 7) to tell us they sinned in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh. Sexual unions between angelic (demonic) beings and humans still occurs today in the occult.

The historical book of 1 Enoch may also contain some accurate accounts: "And it came to pass that the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. And the angels, the children of heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children . . . [They] took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments . . . And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants . . . And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways."

If this is true, why would Satan send his angels to intermarry (either directly or indirectly) with human women? Satan was trying to pollute the genetic "pool" of mankind with a satanic corruption; to put a genetic "virus" which would make the human race unfit for bringing forth the Seed of the woman - the Messiah - promised in Genesis 3:15. "The Savior could not be born of a demon-possessed mother. So if Satan could succeed in infecting the entire race, the deliverer could not come." (Boice) And Satan almost succeeded. The race was so polluted, God found it necessary to start again with Noah and his sons, and imprison the demons that did this, so they could never do so again.

Matthew
3:8-9 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ Some people think they’re saved just because they’re born into a “Christian family” or because they are American or even go to church. But God says throughout the Bible that it is an individual decision based on belief in Jesus to the point that our lives are noticeably and even radically changed. In many places, God reminds us that works don’t save us, but our works prove what we believe about Him.

3:11 He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The baptism of the Holy Spirit prophetically referred to Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would be sent into the lives of all believers. “Fire” probably refers to testing including persecution and suffering, as in: "For everyone will be purified with fire.” Mark 9:49 and, “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12

4:1-11 In a similar way that the Israelites (God also referred to this nation as His “firstborn son,” Ex. 4:22) were led into the wilderness to be tested for 40 years, Jesus, God’s firstborn Son over all creation was led into the wilderness (by His Father) to be tested for 40 days. You can assume that faith without testing is no faith at all, which is why even Jesus had to be fully tested. It is important to note that Satan used Scripture to try to trip Jesus up. He will do the same with us. We must use the same technique Jesus used and fight Satan’s lies out loud with truth of scripture.

Questions for personal application:
•    Have you ever thought about God being (like any true parent) vulnerable to emotional pain to the point that His heart could break over your sin? (Genesis 6:6)
•    Does this knowledge change your perspective on willful sin and rebellion?
•    What is persecution? Have you ever experienced it? Are you afraid of it?

How are you doing?
Okay, 3 days in. How are you doing so far? Keeping up? Learning? My prayer for you is that you will become so fascinated by the treasures in God's Word each reading, you won't want to miss a single day!