Genesis 10 (50 Days – Day Ten)

The Process

This is the second chapter in the Bible’s first 10 that functions simply as a family tree or ancestral document. It’s awfully difficult to get that for your daily reading and expect to walk away feeling filled. I admit, I struggled with it myself, and began searching everywhere for answers. I looked at specific words in the original languages, read commentaries, and then as a last resort, did what I always do when I don’t know what do with a passage. I tried asking questions.

It’s really important that we develop a habit of asking questions. It’s really the best way to learn. Let me give you an example. I know how to play guitar. In fact, I’ve taught several people now. I could walk up to person A and tell them “I’m going to teach you to play guitar” and as long as they’re willing, I’m sure we’ll achieve some measure of success. However, if person B walks up to me and says “I noticed that you play guitar, can you teach me?”, I have a pretty strong gut feeling about who is going to be more successful in the end.

My high school math and science teacher began every year with the same speech. It was about something he called “GANAS” which apparently means desire. He would write the word with big letters on the board and then proceeded to explain that too much is made of the ability to pick things up easily. “However”, he would say, “If you have GANAS, I can teach you.”

The same is true of God’s Word.  How much we get out of it depends on our desire, and our desire for it is shown by the questions we ask of it.

So I came up with a question. If Noah’s sons proceeded from the Ark to populate the world, then which one of his sons did the line of Jesus come from? After all, I figured much is made of Jesus’ lineage and these records seem to be important enough to Jewish history that I assumed that information was available. We can begin our search with the book of Matthew where the bloodline of Jesus is recorded all the way back to Abraham in chapter 1. So, we simply need to know which line Abraham came from and that’s pretty easy by simply reading Genesis 11:10-26.

Jesus, and all Hebrew people come from the line of Shem. That name became the root word for “semitic” as in “semitic languages”.

So what can we take from all of this? Perhaps there is something we’re missing, and perhaps years down the road I will stumble upon something that causes me to look deeper and a light bulb will go off for me. But for now, I will lean on my favorite quote from Oswald Chambers,

“What we call the process, God calls the end.” – Oswald Chambers

Plainly put, the exercise of opening a chapter like this and anticipating or expecting God’s Word to reveal truth to us and not return void is perhaps the very point of any study of the Bible. Often it’s not about how much we learn, it’s about how much more we come to expect of it each time we open it. The more we get, the more we want. God’s Word is perhaps the only thing on earth that we can’t consume in excess. There is no chance of getting too much of it. It is food for the spiritually starving and that desire only increases once it gets a taste. Let’s stay hungry, and passionately desire the Word of God.

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! – Psalm 34:8

Genesis 9 (50 Days – Day Nine)


When we are purchased by God, our lives ransomed with the life of His Son, we are eternally set free from the penalty that we deserve as a result of our sin. Furthermore, God is forgiving and the things which we have ruined here on earth can also be restored. For example, if we hurt people in relationships as a result of our sin, God can heal those hurts and restore the relationship.

Having said that, I have noticed that many times things are never truly the same. God desires to make all things new, but if feels at times that when he does, some vestige of sin remains – a reminder that this world is still broken until God truly restores everything to Him.

Such is the story of Noah in Genesis 9, which starts out with God renewing a blessing that He made when He first created man. That man would be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. Everything that he made for the first generations of man would now be passed on to Noah’s family and be given for their enjoyment. In fact, perhaps for the first time it would appear that meat would be on the menu for dinner.

Yes everything seemed to be back in its place. Noah even took up gardening and planted a vineyard. Then, all of a sudden a moment of true humanity changes everything. Noah, enjoying the fruits of his labors has too much to drink. It was a moment of weakness and he was full of nothing but a desire for his own satisfaction. That’s really the root of all sin isn’t it? It’s about us and how to fulfill our own desires regardless of the consequences. The Bible is pretty clear that drinking to the point of drunkenness is sin but Noah indulges himself and does it anyway.

As a result, we have a scene that some of us may not fully understand. There are simply too many unanswered questions. Did Ham stumble mistakenly into his father’s tent and find him that way? Did he look on his father with disrespect or even lust? Did he do anything to him as some legends would suggest? We simply don’t know what the exact sinful action was here, so we can’t deem it to be important otherwise God would have told us. What we do know is what led to it and must assume that is important. Noah made a mistake, and as a result, a chain reaction was started which led to his family being torn apart. It would appear that this relationship was never restored, and the pleasure of a moment brought a lifetime of consequence.

I would summarize by saying this, that if we have been bought with a price, our eternity is secure in spite of any sin we may commit moving forward. I cannot stress this enough, You are forgiven. You are forgiven. You are forgiven. However, our motivation to abstain from sin should not come merely from a motivation to worship God and thank Him for what He has done. We must recognize that all sin, while being set free from eternal judgment is still subject to earthly consequence, and while this life is truly a vapor, it will only appear that way on the other side of eternity. Let’s not make the mistakes that cause us and the people we love so much pain.

Genesis 8 (50 Days – Day Eight)


Have you ever listened to someone’s story of faith and wondered “why doesn’t God work like that in my life?” More specifically, have you ever heard one of these faith giants recall a time when God “spoke” to them and wondered “why don’t I hear from God like that? If God speaks to people like that and I’m not hearing him, is my faith not deep enough or am I really a Christian?

If that’s you, I want to encourage you to take a page from Noah. After all, he was found to be the only righteous man on earth at one time. Surely he has the market cornered on what God is saying to him right? If he needed to know something, he’d just ask and God would open the heavens and in a booming voice deliver the message right?

True there was a time when God seemed to speak directly to Noah…

Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. (Gen. 7:1)

However, we aren’t told how this message was delivered. Was it a voice booming and loud or still and small. At the risk of challenging the specific words, I would ask was it a voice at all? What if God gave Noah this message not through audible words but simply the spirit confirming something to Noah in some intangible way?

The reason I ask is that we spend so much time focusing on Noah’s faithfulness before the flood that we might miss how he discerns things after.

The first question he has is, “when am I supposed to get off this boat? I was told when to get on, but when is it time to leave?” Apparently the one window in the ark could not see the land and this was going to be a big discernment issue. Open the door too early and he could sink the boat.

So what does he do? He sends out a bird and it comes back with nothing. He sends out a bird again. Again it comes back with nothing. All the while praying. All the while saying “God I’ll do what seems to make sense to me and when you give me a peace about moving in a certain direction, I’ll know that it’s you and move.”

He sends out a bird again, and it comes back with a olive branch. Notice this…that would seem to signify to me that the litmus test for dry land has passed with flying colors. But he waits. Noah has experience in the discernment department and knew before the prophet Isaiah wrote about it that “those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”

A fourth time he sends out a bird. It does not return. Noah meditates on this and finds that peace welling up in his heart. He recognizes that peace…it’s the same Spirit that brought him this far.

Perhaps that is all a bit of speculation into the nuances of what happened but the larger facts remain. God speaks to us in different ways. For many of us, including myself, it has never been an audible voice but that has not lessened its impact. I have learned to recognize the voice of my shepherd through experience with Him.

I encourage you, if you are facing any decision, pray without ceasing, do what you have a peace about, don’t do what you are hesitant about, and wait for God to speak.

Genesis 7 (50 Days – Day Seven)


You would think that when you’re trying to stuff just enough animals on one boat to ensure their future procreation that God would appreciate a pragmatist. After all, this is no time to get our feathers ruffled if we forget a few traditions for a few months.

What we find instead is that God did not just include enough animals to allow for future offspring. He actually commanded that a larger number of “clean” animals be taken…

“Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals…” (v. 2)

This begs the question, “Why the special treatmeant?” Are clean animals really worth more or just “better” than their unclean counterparts? Perhaps more fragile and God was just hedging his bet?

No, in fact there was a divine purpose in the bringing of “clean animals”.

You see Noah and his family would need much more than just food and shelter to survive. They also needed their God. The way that man connected with God back then was through sacrifice. It was vital to a life lived in relationship to him.

It is, therefore, fitting that God would make a way to keep Noah’s family not only safe and well-fed but also connected to Him. Like the other animals, some of the clean ones were meant to carry on their species through procreation. Still, with 7 pairs of each, it would seem as though God had provided enough for Noah’s family to continue to offer sacrifice, which we find he did, in Genesis 8:20.

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

No matter what circumstances you find yourself in, make a habit of giving to God. Sacrifice is as vital to our development as it was to Noah, and needs to be a part of our lives as often as possible.

Genesis 6 (50 Days – Day Six)

Sometimes I read a verse that just challenges me. Typically when this happens, I am forced to blind of the forest on account of all the trees, or rather I miss the larger point of a passage because of my inability to get over one line. Genesis 6 provides just such a verse.

And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. (v. 6)

See what I mean? I read that and just can’t get off it. Pity too, as the story of Noah is full of symbolism and great narrative. It speaks of the importance of marriage in God’s divine plan and contains the forerunner to Isaiah 53:6 in verse 12 with the line “all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”

Yet anytime I read chapter 6, none of that matters. Why? Because I can’t get over the idea of a God who regrets. I don’t like the idea that God can have a change of heart, because deep down inside I wonder, “what happens if He changes His mind about me?”

I think the problem really comes down to the baggage that each of us have with the word regret. Somehow we have convinced ourselves that the word should be used to describe mistakes we’ve made or things that we’d do differently if given a second chance. However, the true meaning of the word is nothing like that.

Have you ever heard someone use an expression like “I regret to inform you that…” How can a person wish they had done something differently while simultaneously doing it in the first place? Once your brain recovers from that last sentence, you’ll realize that one who uses regret in that way is simply acknowledging the heavy heart with which he must deliver some piece of news.

The true definition of regret in our language is to feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over. This lines up with scripture as well as the word for regret here is the word nacham which means to console yourself or to grieve.

Here’s the truth: God doesn’t change (Malachi 3:6). The bible says He’s the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). James 1:17 says that with Him there isn’t even a shadow of turning. His love never ends and the same love he displayed for you on the cross 2,000 years ago he offers you today.

Hopefully you will be able to see as I do that the heart of God that is on display here is not one of judgment without mercy. Rather, this is a deeply hurtful and personal experience for God. Necessary, yes. But still hurtful. Nearly every person alive at the time, people He created in His image and loved unconditionally, would be wiped off the face of the earth. It had to be so, so that He could save them from themselves, but the act of it broke His heart.

My comfort through all of this, is that I serve a God who grieves about the evil found in this world even more than I do. It makes me realize that we are not alone, and more importantly, that we are not home yet. I hope that he finds me faithful as he did with Noah. However should I ever stumble I am reminded that while God grieves for me, because he came to give me an abundant life that can only be found in service to Him.

Genesis 5 (50 Days – Day Five)

While this is the first chapter in the Bible devoted entirely to genealogy, it will not be the last. The question is, if we’re doing a chapter-per-day devotional, what can we really glean from this passage? At first glance, perhaps not much. However, if we reflect on both what happened before as well as after, we can arrive at least at one central theme: hope.

What we know from before is that a number of people were of Cain’s descent. We also know from our own experiences that most likely other generations from other lines also became so consumed with their own lives that they too forgot about their creator. It’s not hard to understand how society would experience a simultaneous progression in cultural discovery (via the tools, music and cities of Cain’s sons) and regression in morality by each one turning their hand to their own way (Isa. 53:6). If Tolkien said it best that “not all those who wander are lost” then certainly the reverse of that is true as well. We may appear to be on the right track and getting better outwardly, but we’re dying inside more every day.

You can be sure though, that some vestige of grace remained among a few of the people. Perhaps only as stories told to them as children, a small light of hope flickered in a few hearts of Adam’s line. And you can be sure of this as well, that just as Cain and Seth were very intentionally named, so was the eventual incarnation of this hope in the person of Noah. We don’t know exactly what hardship had befallen the people then, only that Noah’s father Lamech said this about his son’s birth…

Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands. (v. 29)

Notice that word ‘relief’. In fact, the word could be best expressed as comfort or rest. The idea is that life was oppressive, perhaps monotonous, and very difficult and Noah’s life would bring about a change to all of that.

I know it can be hard this side of the history to understand God’s choice in the flood. We just can’t possibly know the extent of the evil on the earth during that time. For all we know, it was as much God’s mercy as it was his judgment that lead him to destroy mankind. What we do know is this, that God began a pattern here of using those who still call upon His name as the catalyst to bring about great change. We understand this, that the challenge so eloquently issued by Mahatma Gandhi is subtly calling to us from the pages of God’s word from ancient days before. “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Genesis 4 (50 Days – Day Four)

As you read the tragic story of Cain and Abel (and more notably that of Cain) you might be struck with the question of “where were their parents during all of this?”

Perhaps to be fair, we must remember that Adam and Eve had no parents themselves to teach them how to raise children, but on a more serious note, Eve’s response to bearing children is very telling…

Now Adam had sexual relations with his wife, Eve, and she became pregnant. When she gave birth to Cain, she said, “With the Lord’s help, I have produced a man!” (v. 1, NLT)

True, Eve did give some credit to the Lord…He is, after all, the creator of all things. But noticed how she uses that word “produced” in reference to Cain. In fact, Cain’s name sounds very similar to a Hebrew word that means either to produce or to acquire. Both of these words carry with it the idea that “this is mine” or “I made this myself”.

The chapter continues by giving us the broad strokes of the result of Cain’s sin. What was Cain’s sin anyway? Of course, hindsight being 20/20, perhaps we think that Cain’s sin was that God requires the sacrifice of a lamb, not of crops. But of course, the law had yet to be given. Also, that would seem to make God look petty. One theme presented here that rings true throughout the Bible is this: God looks at the heart.

Cain presented some of his crops. Nothing special is denoted…apparently an opportunity for worship came up and perhaps he was taught to bring a gift to the Lord to symbolize this. Cain’s thought process is “No biggie…I’ll just grab some of the turnips I harvested yesterday and bring those.”

Abel’s sacrifice has much more meaning though. His thought process is “I’ve worked hard to raise this flock, but I wouldn’t have any of them if not for God. Therefore I will pick my prized possession and give that to God as an expression of my gratitude.”

Abel’s offering more adequately expresses a heart that says “I know where all of this came from, and I want to say thanks.”

Cain’s focus is not just directed away from God, it is also directed toward something else entirely – his work. Does that sound like anyone else you know? Perhaps someone you saw this morning in some reflective surface?

The worst part is that Cain’s mentality became generational. As the chapter continues to describe his descendants, we find that they are characterized by their achievements rather than their devotion to God.

Isn’t it great however that we serve a God of second chances?

Eve is blessed in the end with a third child. This time, she doesn’t mention producing or acquiring anything. Her attitude has changed and she names her son Seth. Do you know what Seth means? It means granted. Eve’s attitude is, “I have been given this son by the Lord, not merely helped by Him to produce one.”

This is the attitude we must have with everything we have been given. This is the attitude of true worship. It is attitude that concludes our passage with these words…

“At that time people first began to worship the Lord…”

My prayer is that all of us will experience such a time.

Genesis 3 (50 Days – Day Three)

God detests sin. Why? It destroys what is good. He created us so that He could enjoy us forever, but He made us in His likeness. This means that we understand that there is a difference between good and bad, and that line is not blurry. What we have here is the forces of evil trying to destroy what God created, and the start of a war that has been waged ever since.

What we must not miss here is the aftermath. What happened as a result of man’s rebellion?

Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden… (v.22-23)

Perhaps in your Bible this passage is titled “God’s Judgment”, and indeed, it is. However, we must understand God’s reasoning for it. It’s not just about punishment for sin. There is something much more eternal at stake. The state of creation before this moment was a universe without death. Everything was designed, as far as we know anyway, to endure. When God says “then they will live forever”, He is not saying that he never intended that to happen. Of course God wants us to live forever and I believe he designed us to live eternally with him. He just doesn’t want the people that we have become to live forever.

From the beginning we were designed not for evil things, but to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s commands, we went off the reservation and started living to please ourselves rather than our creator. God knows that this is a path that can only end in our ultimate destruction, so he separates, in a sense, our spiritual self from our physical self. This is seen in our removal from the Garden, and our inability on our own to re-enter it. By allowing us to die, our sins die in our bodies while our spirit can be saved and made new again.

Notice that immediately Adam and Eve recognize and are ashamed of their nakedness. It’s like a picture of their failure to them and they can’t imagine allowing God to see them like this, and so they try to cover themselves up with leaves, but God is not satisfied and has a better solution already in mind…

And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. (v. 21)

I don’t know if you caught that, but in that one verse lies the first hint of God’s plan for salvation. Where did God get the animal skins from? From animals of course. Dead ones. How did they die? We must assume that God put them to death, and shed their blood to provide a covering for the sin of Adam and Eve. What a sad, beautiful picture.

You see, Genesis is all about beginnings. We have learned about the beginning of the universe, the beginning of man, the beginning of sin and now, the beginning of God’s plan to put all of us broken people back together.

Rejoice today in this; that the same God who we offended with our sin also made a way so that we could spend eternity with Him in spite of it.

Genesis 2 (50 Days – Day Two)

If we’ve already established that everything was made for man and that he is the crown jewel of creation, we now arrive at chapter 2, where after a brief description of how all life was formed from the ground up, God gives man purpose on earth.

This is the kind of stuff that should fascinate us about God’s Word. In Genesis 1, we are told that man was to “subdue” creation and have “dominion” over it. We all have our own ideas I’m sure of what that might look like, I would imagine many of them might not be good. These are terms that we perhaps equate with ancient kings and their tyranny over the people they rule. If we stop at Genesis 1, we might get the impression that God wants us to show plants and animals who’s boss, and not give much thought about their part in our ecosystem.

However, Genesis chapter 2 paints a very different picture of man’s relationship with creation. First, recognize that God makes a point in chapter 1 to say that plants and animals were here before man (which, by the way, science agrees with). Not only that, but here we are told that we were all formed from the same ground. I believe he does this to rightfully setup the next big “ah-hah” moment. It may sound a little like “tree-hugger” stuff, so get ready…

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (v. 15)

Let’s have a look at those words for a moment. First, the word translated for “work” is the Hebrew word “abad“. This word’s meaning is to work for something or better yet, to serve. In fact, as you read the earlier portions of the chapter, you see that plants and trees were designed to be in need of man’s care…

“…no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground.” (v. 5)

Second, the word for “keep” is the Hebrew word “shamar” which means to keep, watch or preserve. It is used elsewhere in the Bible in reference to bodyguards, gatekeepers and watchmen.

No matter what side of the political aisle you are on, God’s word is clear in these few words that we are to serve and to protect our planet with the utmost care. It also supports us by way of food, oxygen, etc. Perhaps the best word to summarize God’s intention for the relationship between man and creation is harmony.

We are given another purpose at the end of the chapter in the creation of woman. Adam had noticed that other creatures were not alone, but until then he had been. He put it best saying,

“This at last is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (v.23)

While this goes on to specifically speak of marriage, if you keep it in the context of God’s command to multiply in chapter 1, we realize here that we are to continue to grow as a human race and the best way to do that is to recognize that we are all human, as Adam did. That we were created equal, and that we need to live in relationship to each other.

In summary, it is here we find 2 of the 3 great purposes for man: to live in harmony with creation and in fellowship with each other. Perhaps now the next time you bring flowers home to your wife, it will have much more meaning!

Genesis 1 (50 Days – Day One)

You may not know, but there is a fierce debate over Genesis 1:1. In this day of amazing scientific breakthrough, it is easy to look at the first words of the Bible and pick a fight. In one corner, skeptics will ask legitimate questions of God’s Word…

  • Why does the Bible say the earth and universe were created at the same time when science says the universe is older?
  • Why does the Bible call the moon “light” when it only reflects the sun’s light?
  • How does light exist before the sun and stars?
  • How are plants made on the third day with no sun yet to feed them?
  • Why are we given every plant to eat when we know some are poisonous?

The list goes on and on, and has convinced some that God’s Word can’t be trusted.

In another corner are Christians who prefer a literal interpretation of this chapter that God made the universe in six 24 hour periods in the order that is laid out here. Any scientific evidence to the contrary is, to them, wrong. To them, science cannot be trusted.

Still in another corner there are those who are more than skeptical and have made it their mission to destroy God’s Word. They may be scientists, but a true scientist has no other motive…a true scientist studies science and draws conclusions about things that DID happen. They make no claim to what DIDN’T happen (eg. whether or not a snake ever had feet or something like that).

Finally, and I know I’m oversimplifying this, in the fourth corner are people like me. People who believe that Bible is the infallible Word of God and that science is a gift from that same God. True science can’t possibly ever disprove God’s existence, simply because science is limited to the physical and natural world. God is spirit and his power is supernatural. The study of the universe is science. The study of God is theology.

So if you, like me, find yourself in that fourth category, what are your takeaways from Genesis 1?

Let’s start at verse 1…

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

That’s a statement of fact, not a statement of order. It’s not saying “the universe was created at the same time as the earth”. You have to remember that while God’s Word has great application for our lives today, it needed to be just as applicable to the people to whom the original Word was delivered. I may be going out on a limb here, but I don’t believe the question of “which came first, the earth or the universe” could possibly have been asked back then. To me, the question itself necessitates a certain level of scientific discovery before one can even conceive of it.

This is a statement of fact, and an answer to perhaps a much simpler question that people over 3000 years ago certainly had enough sense to ask… “Where did all of this come from?” The answer, God created it. Everything you see around you was at one point created by God.

In fact, as you continue to read through the chapter, you will see that God not only created everything, he also had purpose behind everything. He designed it, and it wasn’t random. He had a plan, and that plan centered around the crown jewel of creation…you and me. Mankind. With that in mind, this is what Genesis chapter 1 is really about.

  1. God made the physicial universe in an orderly fashion with a sense of purpose.. (v.1-10)
  2. He made everything on earth for the specific purpose of sustaining life (v.11-13, 29 -31).
  3. He made life, with the ability to multiply. (v.20-25)
  4. His most special creation was man, and he was made different than other creatures. (v.26-27)
  5. He gave man purpose…to multiply and understand that God made/gave all of this for them. (v.28)

That’s what Genesis 1 is about. It’s not God’s attempt to explain particle physics to us. It’s about you.

When all is said and done, God is setting the stage for the next 2 chapters, when he reveals what he truly wants…relationship with us. So take heart in this one thought when you go about your day…everything that is beautiful in the world was made that way by God for your enjoyment.