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The Bible Day 4: (Proverbs 1:1-7, Matthew 4:1-22, Genesis 7:1-9:17) Salvation Two-Way Street

Introduction: Affliction, trials, and tribulations surround life. We all struggle with something, and the impact that our stressors have on us can cause problems as we travel and journey through our lives. The good news is that God has an answer for any situation we find ourselves in, and our response should be all of us responding in faith and love and having that hope in the LORD that He will get us through on His time and not ours. As we expand more profoundly into the Bible and our time together, consider this today when searching the Scriptures: salvation is a two-way street between God and humanity.


Charles Swindoll once said, “Each problem is God’s appointed instructor.


Wisdom Reading- Proverbs 1:1-7:

One of the central themes from the Book of Proverbs is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Some say that the Book of Proverbs is thought to have laid the foundation for the Beatitudes we see in (Matthew 5).


Background: Hebrew proverbs are often written as individual couplets with two lines of equal length. Two common types: (1)- the identical proverb that expresses the same thought in both lines; (2)- the opposite proverb that offers a contrast, wise and foolish, and virtuous and evil.

Solomon simplifies the first seven verses here in the Book of Proverbs. Here, we are instructing all to know Wisdom, the Lord, and His ways, and choose to be wise in our faith and journeys and not be foolish in our ways, actions, and thoughts, and we are instructed to choose good over evil. Solomon also reminds us that Wisdom begets the Fear of God, and we remember this in our daily struggles in life.

 

The Gospel Reading – Matthew 4:1-22:

Jesus’ triumph over Satan! To be tempted means to be tested in all fundamental areas of our faith and life. The forty days and nights of Jesus in the wilderness is a reversal of how Israel fell into temptation in the wilderness after leaving bondage from Egypt. The Israelites were tested for forty years in the wilderness and proved disobedient and disloyal. Jesus is tested and tempted by Satan to show us how He has fully taken on human nature along with His divine nature. Unlike Israelites in the wilderness, Jesus reversed it all by teaching Satan a valuable lesson, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’ (v. 10).


Highlights:


Jesus is tempted and tested three times:

(1)- In v. 3, Satan challenges Christ’s relationship to the Father. “If you are the Son of God” calls into question the Father’s declaration at the Baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:17). Satan’s objective here is that he wants the Son of God to act independently and to detach Himself from the will of the Father. When we talk about Christ's divine nature, we are talking about how Christ shares one will with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and He can do nothing of Himself (John 5:30) apart from the Father. The humanity of Christ means He had free will, and He must always remain obedient to the divine will of the Father. Christ teaches us to reject an earthy kingdom and shows all our faith not to pursue earthly comfort.


(2)- Satan’s objective (vv. 5-7) here is to get the Son of God to tempt the Father, but we are taught that trials and temptations will always come on their own accord. We should never intentionally expose ourselves to extreme dangers to test or prove God’s protection for us; to do so is to tempt the Lord your God.


(3)- Satan’s objective (vv. 8-10) here is to test and ask Jesus to choose between worldly power and the Kingdom of God. Satan is the “ruler of this world” (John 12:31), “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and “the whole world is in his power” (1 John 5:19).  This teaches us to refuse earthly glory, and to set our paths towards the treasures in heaven, Christ rejected Satan’s lies and stayed on His path for His Passion, His suffering, His death for the redemption.


Old Testament Reading- Genesis 7:1-9:17:


Genesis 7 Summary:

The flood is here, and the LORD God has made Noah righteous through his faith, by which he pleased God (Hebrews 11:6-7). Noah obeyed God because of the grace of the Holy Spirit, and he could abide by everything God commanded. By entering the ark, Noah and his family show us how salvation works when we live by faith. Noah also saved the animals by faith, and the whole creation will be saved through the children of God (Romans 8:18-22). In vv. 16-24, the LORD God closed the door to the ark. This shows that God is the judge who determines who is in and out. The people outside who were drowning were the ones who were going about their usual manner of life: buying, selling, eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage. These people were indifferent to God and indifferent to His grace. The Last Days will have the same consequences, for the wrath of God will catch them off guard just like in the days of Noah (Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-27; 2 Peter 2:4-5).


Genesis 8 Summary:

At the beginning of Chapter 8, “God remembered Noah” (v. 1), the LORD saved Noah and his family from the floodwaters, and the LORD, for He made a wind that caused the waters to subside. We see that Noah was saved because the LORD remembered him; this remembrance is indeed salvation, and God remembers salvation because of faith. It is written in Psalms 24(25): “Remember Your compassion, O LORD, / And Your mercy, for they are from of old. / Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my ignorance; / But remember me according to Your mercy, /Because of Your loving kindness, O LORD.” The thief on the cross said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:42-43).

In vv. 10-11: The dove is foreshadowing the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16), and it was the Holy Spirit who caused Mary to conceive Christ in her womb; the olive leaf speaks of the Virgin herself (Luke 1:35; Akath). The olive leaf is seen as a token of man’s reconciliation back to God, foreshadowing the fulfillment of grace in the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church (Service of Baptism).

In v. 20, We see the recurring theme, “God remembered Noah” (8:1). Noah himself also remembered God. We can see that remembrance in salvation is like traveling a two-way street, and as it is written in the Psalms, “I remembered Your name in the night, O LORD, / And I kept Your law” (Psalm 118(119):55). The remembrance Noah gave to the LORD God was that he built an altar to God.

In vv. 21-22- The sacrifices of Noah were a sweet aroma to the LORD God. Likewise, the Church has an altar on which she offers the sweet smell of praise and thanksgiving to the LORD (Hebrews 13:10, 15). What we understand about the context of v. 22 is that the earth will remain with its regular cycles until the arrival of the new heaven and the new earth that are to come (Revelation 21:1).


Genesis 9 Summary:


Genesis 9 begins with the recurring theme in chapter 8: God not only “remembered” Noah (8:1), but the LORD blessed Noah. Remembrance is both salvation and blessing; many scriptures speak of this concept. Here is an example from the Psalms where it is written, “He shall receive blessing from the LORD, / And mercy from the God of his salvation” (Psalm 23(24):5).

In vv. 8-16: Christ is the seed of Noah (Luke 3:23, 36), and the everlasting covenant (v. 16) is the new covenant God has established with Noah. The rainbow of God in the clouds is His sign of the covenant. Closing out, we can establish that not only did the LORD God bless Noah (9:1), but Noah, in return, blessed Him, the LORD. Here is another example from the Psalms, for it is written, “For my foot stands in uprightness; /In the churches I will bless You, O LORD” (Psalm 25(26):12, and Noah blessed God because of Shem, and through whom Christ would come to save the world (Luke 3:36).


In Christ, love Jared





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