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Your Daily Walk365 Daily Devotions to Read through the Bible in a Year
ZondervanCopyright © 1991 Zondervan
All right reserved.
Genesis begins "in the beginning" and traces the inception of the universe, man, woman, marriage, worship, sin, judgment, civilization, and redemption. The first portion (chapters 1-11) presents a wide-angle view of God's dealings from Creation to Babel-a period characterized by human faithfulness. But chapters 12-50 focus on God's relationship with one man (Abraham) and his descendants over the next four centuries, during which a nation is founded and salvation is promised for the fallen race of man.
Six Days of Creation GENESIS 1-2
OVERVIEW The first two chapters of the Bible begin at "the beginning." Chapter 1 gives a concise overview of the progress of creation, climaxing in the creation of man. Chapter 2 takes a zoom-lens look at day six. There the details emerge of how God's image-bearers were created-man from the dust of the ground and woman from his rib. The stage is set, the characters are in place, the drama can begin.
YOUR DAILY WALK "When all else fails, follow the directions." That belated advice is based on a law as universal as gravity-the Law of Design, which states: "Things work well when they function according to the way they were designed; they work poorly (or not at all) when that design is violated." God, the Master Designer, made the water, sky, and land; then He made creatures suited for each environment. So it should not surprise you to discover that birds make terrible submarines, or that fish have trouble climbing trees.
The same design apparent in both solar system and desert flower is built into humans and their relationships. The husband is the head of the home; the wife is his helper by design. Violate the design and there's trouble. Follow it and there's harmony and fulfillment.
Grab a sheet of paper and see how many ways you can complete this sentence: "By God's design, I am ____________"; (1-3, good start; 4-7, borderline Bible genius; 8 or more, you must be a design engineer!). If you got stuck, consult Psalm 139:14; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 2:10; 5:21-6:9; Titus 2:14 for some help. With God's help, you can become all you were created to be!
INSIGHT Big Questions, Bigger Answers - The first verse in the English Bible uses only 10 words to answer four of the most basic questions thinking individuals ever ask: (1) What is there? (2) How did it get there? (3) Did it have a beginning? (4) What or who is responsible? These answers have been graciously supplied by the only One who was there at the time. (The correct answers are: 1. The heaven and the earth; 2. It was all created; 3. Yes; 4. God.)
Entrance and Extent of Sin GENESIS 3-5
OVERVIEW The perfect environment into which man was placed is now shattered by the entrance of sin. Satan, posing as the subtle serpent, challenges God's only prohibition on man's use of the garden. Disobedience follows as the first family eats from the forbidden tree and is expelled from the garden. The results of their sin spread quickly as humankind and the whole creation fall under the penalty of death. Cain becomes the first murderer, and the downward spiral continues from Adam to Noah, paving the way for God's sweeping judgment upon the wickedness of the world.
YOUR DAILY WALK Has this ever happened to you? You turn on your radio or TV and hear glowing reports of a new "miracle product." Convinced, you go out and buy it, only to discover it fails to live up to its billing.
Satan has been in the business of overselling his "product"-sin-for thousands of years. He first tried this approach with Eve in the Garden of Eden. Notice the promise: "In the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (3:5). Eve believed his claim and tried his product. The result? Pain ... bitter disappointment ... and expulsion from the garden.
Where has your resistance to temptation been tested by Satan? What are some of the false promises he would like you to believe in order to sell you on sin? "If it feels good it must be right.... Everyone else is doing it, so it must be okay.... If you haven't tried it, you can't know what you're missing.... It won't hurt to do it just once."
When tempted today to fall for one of Satan's false promises, respond instead with this scriptural promise from James 4:7: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
INSIGHT Same Scheme, Different Results - Compare Genesis 3 with Matthew 4:1-11 and you'll notice an interesting fact. Satan tempted Jesus in the same three ways that he tempted Eve (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life; 1 John 2:16). But in Christ's case, Satan failed on every count!
Stewards of God's Creation
Occasionally you'll be given the opportunity with these special pages to pause in your daily walk through the Bible. You can use these days to catch up on your regular reading. But more important, you can step back and take a look at the big picture, contemplating the broad themes from the passages you're reading, and worship their Author-God Himself.
STEP BACK One of the most immense themes of Scripture is the one that starts it all: the Creation. Despite the debate that has raged especially in recent years over the origin of the universe, the Bible firmly and clearly proclaims God the Creator of all.
And not only in the early chapters of Genesis. The New Testament echoes this truth while shedding even brighter light on it. There it is revealed that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was the agent of creation: "For by him [Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him" (Colossians 1:16; see also John 1:3 and Hebrews 1:2).
Go to your nearest window and take a careful look at the outside world. What does it mean to you that God Himself fashioned the natural elements you see-as well as the supernatural elements you can't see-for Himself?
LOOK UP Make this Scripture the basis for prayer to your all-creative, all-powerful God: "For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:18).
MOVE AHEAD God said He created the world "not in vain," but for a purpose: "to be inhabited." Realizing that God made this world, and realizing that you are an inhabitant of it, ask yourself: How responsibly are you caring for it? What actions are you taking as a steward of God's creation? Recycling newspapers, aluminum cans, and other materials ... keeping check on your use of natural resources ... getting involved in conservation activities ... the list is endless. Determine today to be an informed and active caretaker of all that God has given you. His creation deserves special care.
Noah's Ark GENESIS 6-9
OVERVIEW In the course of its rebellion, humanity becomes so sinful that God prepares to execute the death sentence on the entire race. In grace He directs Noah-a just man who walks with God-to build a great ship in order to escape the coming judgment. Noah obeys God, and while the floodwaters purge the earth, the ark preserves human and animal life for a fresh start. After a safe landing on Mount Ararat, God gives new directions and makes new commitments to Noah and his descendants: "I will remember my covenant" (9:15).
YOUR DAILY WALK Just imagine: "You say you sometimes get tired of waiting for God to right the wrongs in your day? Maybe you should quit your job and sign on with Noah & Sons Shipbuilders. They're short of help, and you will be doubly welcome if you know anything about building triple-decker cargo ships.
"Seems nobody's ever tried this kind of thing before. But Noah is convinced God told him to do it. Says he's working against a deadline too.
"The contract calls for 120 years-no more, no less. Ol' Noah figures the Lord wants to give people another chance to turn back to Him. God's not in any hurry. That's because He's long-suffering. But the Lord won't wait forever. When the time comes, it's going to get real wet around here. God always keeps His word-and just at the right time too.
"Well, you can start by sawing those gopher logs into planks...."
Make a list of the faith-inspired steps that Noah took in chapters 6-9. Noah obeyed God by picking up a hammer and saw. What is God asking you to do to join Noah's faithful ranks?
INSIGHT When Came the Rainbow? - God decreed the rainbow a tangible sign of His promise never again to destroy the earth by flood. However, Scripture does not indicate whether the rainbow had previously existed, and was then chosen by God as a sign; or whether it was a new phenomenon, suggesting a changed climate after the Flood.
Excerpted from Your Daily Walk Copyright © 1991 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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