Scripture reading for January 15th: Matthew 11
Jesus talked about the generation of Jews that were living in the time He ministered on earth. “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.” For John (the Baptist) came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” But wisdom is proved right by her actions.” (Matthew 11:16-19) The Jews of Jesus day had excuses for everything they saw. They made accusations that enabled them to stay smug and live as usual.
Jesus likened them to children playing games. Some played the flute and danced, inviting others to join in. This was the ministry of Jesus! He performed miracles and turned water into wine at a wedding feast. He was accused of being a glutton and friend of sinners by the religious people of that day. The miracles served only to make them more skeptical and hardened. John the Baptist came calling people to repentance and to mourn over their sins. He lived in the desert and dressed like a prophet. These same religious people accused him of having a demon!
We must be careful how we react to Jesus and to the people God sends to call people to Himself! He pronounced ‘woe’ on Korazin and Capernaum, the places He ministered the most but was rejected and judged! It would be more bearable for Sodom than for them on Judgment Day! (Matthew 11:23-24)
Scripture reading for January 8th: Genesis 18-20
Peter’s second letter tells us that in the last days there will be scoffers who ask, “Where is the promise of His coming?” (2nd Peter 3:3-4) They develop an attitude that because what God has promised is not happening now, it probably will not happen at all. They are not walking in faith, but have attitudes that say that the word of God is a joke to them and should be to us. This is the attitude we find in the reading for today from Genesis.
Abraham had a visit from three men who were really angels sent from the Throne of God. Abraham welcomed these three and showed hospitality. One of them was “The Lord” and told Abraham that he would have a son in a year. (Genesis 18: 10) This is probably a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus called a “theophany”. The Lord also told Abraham of the plans to pour out judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. He was on His way down there to visit them. Abraham proceeds to question the Lord about His plans. Would the Lord destroy the righteous with the wicked? How many righteous would cause God to spare the city? He does trust the Judge of all the earth to do what is right. (Genesis 18:25)
Two of the angels proceeded down to Sodom and Gomorrah. They found Lot sitting in the gate of the city and Lot invited them to his home. They initially refused but Lot insisted and they went with him. That night the men of the city came and demanded to have these angels, who looked like men, for sexual purposes. Lot bargained with them, even trying to give his two daughters in place of the men. When the men began to force their way into the house, the angels pulled Lot back inside. They struck those wicked men blind! These angels then warned Lot to gather his family and get them out of the city immediately! God was going to destroy the place! (Genesis 19:12)
The tragedy was that as Lot warned his sons-in-law who were betrothed to his daughter, they laughed and thought he was joking! Even Lot began to hesitate, so the angels grabbed his hand and his wife and daughter’s and led them out of the city. Lot’s wife looked back and died!
Many will be lost because they fail to heed the warning of God’s word and his messengers! The coming of the Lord is no joke and He is the Judge of all the earth!
January 8th Scripture Reading: Genesis 18-20
An ongoing debate and cultural war is going on in our society concerning gay and lesbian rights. Their argument is that genetically they are made with a preference to have sex with the same sex. They say it is discrimination and lack of tolerance when we will not allow them all the rights that traditional married couples have. A large number of states have passed traditional marriage protection acts. Courts are hearing challenges to these laws. Petitions are being presented to legalize same-sex marriage and even to allow adoption of children to same-sex couples. Two states have legal same-sex marriages.
From today’s reading, we get insight into how God feels about this sort of activity in a city or country. He has ordained marriage between a man and a woman. He made them male and female. But sin, disobedience to the clear command and purpose of God, always brings consequences. He is merciful to all who will listen and obey but will judge unrepented sin and rebellion. Sin’s outcry reaches heaven and God’s ears.
Abraham had interceded with God and knew that God as the judge of the earth would not destroy the righteous along with the wicked. (Genesis 18:25) In response to the reports of wickedness that had reached heaven, God sent two angels to Sodom to rescue Lot and his family before judgment fell. As these angels were visiting with Lot, the men of Sodom came knocking on Lot’s door, demanding to have those visitors (the angels) for their own sexual pleasure. Lot pleaded with them, “Please don’t do this wicked thing.” (Genesis 19:6) But they began to move to break down his door. The angels intervened, pulled Lot inside, and struck the men blind so they could not find the door. They then warned Lot to gather his family and leave because they were under orders from God to destroy that city.
The saddest note in this story is when Lot tried to warn his son’s-in- law about the coming destruction and they thought he was joking! (Genesis 19:14) Lot had moved to Sodom with great riches. He apparently tolerated the wickedness and even failed to help his own daughters find believing mates. When the angels warned of the coming destruction, he tried to get out of going where they suggested. His own wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt! What a sad case of a man who knew God and His blessing and got deluded by the spirit of Sodom! How’s your discernment? Are you aware of the warnings of God’s Word? Are you warning those involved in the “sin of Sodom?” Are you careful to vote for godly men and women who will listen to God’s Word on this subject? Pray for discernment and intercede for mercy for our land!
God’s message for our day is plain! He designed man and woman for marriage and reproduction and raising godly children. When we rebel against His plan and do our own thing, consequences will follow. We have the freedom to choose our lifestyle, but the consequences surely will come with it! “Don’t do this wicked thing!”
“Then the Lord rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah–from the Lord out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities and also the vegetation in the land. But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.” Genesis 19:24-26