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Hello all!

I agree with what Mike wrote about chapter 9 and Ham telling his brothers outside. Compare Ephesians 5:11-13, 'Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.'

This says to me that we mustn't join in the deeds of darkness, but we musn't run away from them either - rather we are to shine on them. So, not exposing to the light, as in the cold light of day and exposing to the public, but rather exposing to the true Light! Like photographic film - we can't be exposed to the Light and not be changed by it. I have no idea what Noah's sin was, and I think the writer has left it out on purpose. It isn't the important part of the story. Perhaps good to compare Luke 6:39ff here too, regarding specks and planks.

Man, how I need to learn these things myself!


Today's readings stirred something in me. I sense the Lord is speaking to my heart. I'm not sure what it is, but I want to listen and learn. Perhaps it's a call to be a student rather than a teacher, sitting under the wisest teacher in the world. Perhaps it's a new kind of assignment, or a new kind of healing inside. Something is stirring - a new call.

Reflecting on Mike's comments and questions about the call of God, I definitely believe God stills calls people. He calls us into His kingdom and then uses us to invite others into his kingdom. When I was in my twenties, I couldn't look at a map of Africa without crying and praying. God was preparing my heart to go to Africa - and I wanted to go to Haiti. After I decided He was calling me to Kenya, He closed that door and opened the door to Nigeria. When missionaries asked me to teach their children in Nigeria. I didn't even know where the country was. I said I'd pray about it. I forgot to pray, but the Lord graciously placed some Nigerians in my path. A year later I was in Nigeria.

I share this because I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Lord is calling one of the readers into a new territory or field, and it's scary and there are so many unknowns. Trust Him. He has a wonderful plan. It may not make sense to you, but if you cooperate with your Good Shepherd, He will lead you into green pastures.

I certainly believe God still calls people today. I was working in a successful Engineering career when I sensed the call of God for full-time ministry. I trained for 4 years, and then entered Christian Schools Teaching, and have been doing so for the past 6 years with His grace guiding me every step of the way.

Does God still call people? I found the following quote today while preparing for Sunday School. It touched my heart and answered this question. Yes God calls us all to radical obedience. It also made me curious to learn more about C. T. Studd.

C. T. Studd wrote from Cambridge in 1883: "I had known about Jesus dying for me, but I had never understood that, if He had died for me, then I didn't belong to myself. Redemption means buying back, so that if I belong to Him, either I had to be a thief, and keep what wasn't mine, or else I had to give up everything to God. When I came to see that Jesus had died for me, it didn't seem hard to give up all for Him?"

Grace -

Re: striking or bruising the heel.

"When did Satan bruise Him on the heel? Really, it happened at the cross. It says in Isaiah 53: "He was bruised for our" what? "Iniquities." He was -- He was really bruised, actually by God, because our sins were placed upon Him. The cross was the blow on His heel. That's why in John 13:27 at the upper room it says -- do you remember the night that Jesus was betrayed -- it says that Satan, having "entered into" Judas, he left. And he went out to sell Jesus to get it all started. Luke 22:52 and 53, Jesus says this is the "hour ... of the power of darkness." This is the "hour ... of the power of darkness." It was at the cross that Jesus was bruised. Yes, it was in the purpose and plan was of God. Yes, it was God letting his Son be punished for our sins. Yes, it was the just wrath of God. But at the same time, it was Satan who was inflicting these bruises. The sufferings of Christ on the cross was His bruise. And as I said, it healed very fast.

It only took how long? Well, it only took a few hours when Jesus said, "It is finished," and yielded up his Spirit. And in triumph, gave his life up. Only a bruise, served the purpose of God. Sure, it was inflicted by Satan because Satan, you see, was the source of sin. Satan is the source of the corrupt world system. Satan was the tempter, who plunged the whole human been race into sin. So in a great way, Satan is responsible for all of this. Therefore, he is responsible for the bruising of Jesus, even though it's within the framework of God's judicial purpose." - John MacArthur

Many Thanks to Mike and your 'One Year Bible Blog'. I hope that I can follow you guys all through the year 2009. To know him better and let Jesus's preaching, teaching and healing into hearts of mine and others. Immanuel~


Why did Noah curse Canaan instead of Ham?

There is a prophecy veiled in this curse regarding Canaanites (inhabitors of Promised Land prior to Israel being established).

"The problem which must arise from the cursing of Canaan is this: Why did God curse Canaan for the sin of Ham? Beyond this, why did God curse the Canaanites, a nation, for the sin of one man?

The explanation which best seems to answer these questions is that the words of Noah convey not only a cursing, and a blessing, but a prophecy. While it is true that the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, this is only “to the third and fourth generations” (Exodus 20:5). If this principle were to be applied, all the sons of Ham should have been cursed.

By prophetic revelation, Noah foresaw that the moral flaws evidenced by Ham would be most fully manifested in Canaan and in his offspring. Knowing this, the curse of God falls upon the Canaanites because of the sinfulness Noah foresaw.104 The emphasis thus falls upon the fact that the Canaanites would be cursed because of their sin, not due to Ham’s. I think this explains why Canaan is cursed and not Ham, or the rest of his sons.

The words of Noah, then, contain a prophecy. Canaan will most reflect the moral flaws of his father, Ham. And the Canaanites will manifest these same tendencies in their society. Because of the sinfulness of the Canaanites foreseen by Noah, the curse of God is expressed. The character of these three individuals and their destiny will be corporately reflected in the nations which emerge from them."

Genesis 10

God's Funnel

"A funnel is an instrument or device for narrowing a flow of liquid or powder from a wide expanse to a narrow one. That is what God is doing here in Genesis 10. Shem is put last of the sons of Noah because God is narrowing the flow of sacred history down to the Semitic races. Shem is the neck of the funnel. God is restricting the stream of humanity that he will deal with personally and directly down to one family group, the family of Shem. In Chapter 11, Verse 10 on to the end of the chapter, he takes this up again and narrows it still further to one man, Abraham. From there it begins to broaden out again to take in Abraham and all his descendants, both physical and spiritual. The rest of the Bible is all about the children of Abraham, physically and spiritually. Here we have then one of the most important links in understanding the Bible.

Why does God do this? He has been accused of showing favoritism in picking the people of Israel for his link with humanity. But it is not that. God is no respecter of persons, as we are told. He does this because it is necessary in view of the limitations of our minds, not of his. No one man can grasp the whole widespread, varied, world of mankind. We cannot do so even today. At election time we take polls to determine what people are thinking, because we cannot grasp or assimilate in any way what the entire mass of a people are thinking. We must take polls, samples. God is doing this with Israel. Israel becomes the sample nation, the sample people. Through the rest of the Bible, whatever is true of Israel is true of everyone; their story is our story -- your story and my story. Their stubborn rebellion is the same rebellion that we display, and their spiritual blessing under God is the same kind that we can expect if we open ourselves to respond to the grace of God. One fact comes drumming through all this otherwise dry genealogy: that is that God is seeking somehow to break through into our hearts and wills. He presses upon us in great historic sweeps and in the minor incidents that happen to each of us."

Matthew 4

"Follow me" and "called"

My understanding of Greek is pretty basic, so I will just put this out there for you to think about regarding the invitations of Christ.

The Greek tense of "Follow me" is in the imperative. It is a command. A command that if followed will lead to Peter and Andrew being fishers of men.

The Calling of James and John is an invitation that is completed at some point in time - could be then or in the future.

These men live in small town Israel. They knew Jesus was different (light that had sprung up) - and knew of His preaching.

Whether it is a command followed by a promise or just an open ended invitation it was enticing. Thus the shepherd of Luke 15 goes about one by one and brings the lost sheep into the fold.

Whether it is God working in the hearts of men and they feel a strong urge to come to Christ, or a simple invitation by a believer - God calls his people, and there is nothing satan can do about it.

Psalm 4

5"Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD."

David is calling on the people to turn from worship of false idols. His words here are in the imperative and are a command.

Right sacrifices - the prescribed rituals done with the "right" heart. A heart that loves God, repents of sin, and worships Him alone. God detests "clock punchers" - those that show up for worship with no heart for Him. Just biding their time until they can go out and do what they really want (worship false idols/live in the world). God detests clock-punchers then and He does today. [Note: Of course God loves the world, and especially believers, it is the action of "clock-punching" He detests.]

Trust in the Lord. Collecting verses about trust. Here the Hebrew word takes the connotation of casting all your cares upon the Lord. Offer right sacrifices and turn your life activities over to the Lord (seven days a week). The Lord is big enough to handle it. I believe this is a big key to the Christian walk. Pray to be able to turn your cares over to God - it is a prayer that God will answer because it is in His Will.

Just as an exercise. Start substituting Jesus in the coming chapters for Wisdom. Do not be put off by wisdom being referred to as "her/she". In Hebrew a personal characterisitic is often classified as feminine.

Elizabeth & John A.,
Thanks you for your responses.

1.Do you think Jesus still calls people today? YES
2. Can you share with everyone in the Comments section below a time in your life when felt that you were called by Jesus? RECOVERY FROM MY CODEPENDENCY AND ADDICTIONS
3. Maybe it was a time when you were called to follow Jesus for the first time or maybe it was a call to love or serve others in a new way for you? YES
4. Do you think that Jesus is calling you to something new in your life now in 2009? YES
5. Do you know what Jesus is calling you to do? SERVE HIM TELL OTHERS OF THE WONDERFUL THINGS HE HAS DONE IN LIFE
6. Will you do it? YES
7. lso, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Psalm 4:1

Ijust wanted to say that I am so grateful for this Bible reading program, and now I have purchased the One Year Bible. I am a little more excited now and encouraged to read the Bible, and this plan is more encouraging to me. Also in Matt. Chpt 4, what a call that Peter and them would leave because of the Masters voice. It just encouraged me, that God is starting to call me in a direction of ministry, so will take this call. Thank you for every comment, i would also appreciate to be able to email Christians on this journey, thank you

God calls each of us to follow Him. But do we? We like our comfort zone and we often don't listen to God's calling. We tell God want we are called to do, because it suits us. I believe any change in our lives is God's doing, if we like or not. Indirectly God controlls our future. We can plan what we want to do but God allows it or not allows it. One thing I am trying to do this year is listen to God more and not "tell" God what I want, but what He wants me to do.

Thomas, I enjoyed your reflection about not participating in deeds of darkness. I find this particularly challenging when I am in conversation with people who focus on negatives. In such instances, I tend to grow quiet and withdraw from situation, which is a step in the right direction, but I'm not sure that I"m shining any light into the situation! I admire people who actively bring light into such situations in ways that are gentle but firm.

Penny & Grant, thanks for sharing your stories of "callings." It's encouraging to hear how others are directed by the Lord.

I know I've been called to different things at different seasons of my life--all of them not clear at the time. He called me at age 23 when I first came to know and serve Him. He's called me in (and out) of classroom teaching upon several occasions. He has definitely called me to homeschooling our children--I'm particularly thankful that this has been such a clear calling--otherwise i would be questioning my decisions and self constantly! ;)

Henry--I agree with you about all of life being a calling of sorts. He orders our days.

Sometimes I've been called in ways that are clear...othertimes I've been called to things that are difficult or murky, but later I look back and see God's wisdom and planning. I've also been called "out" of things too---we used to lead a small group in our home for years, and just this last year, I could tell the Lord was nudging us to step back from leading a small group for awhile, so we have and it's been a blessing in a different way.

It's good to stay in tune through prayer and contemplation, to be sensitive to His spirit and leading...

I've learned to be open-minded because His callings have not always been what I expected!

Praise God that Jesus' 3 main ministries - teaching, preaching and healing - recorded here in the Gospel of Matthew , is still available nowdays for us. I surrender myself to let Jesus to teach me, to preach to me and to heal me.

Jesus still calls people today. He has called me to serve Him wherever I am. The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20, says "as you go, make disciples of all nations...." that's a calling not only to the selected few, but all of those who follow Jesus.

In 2009, I think that Jesus is calling me particularly to serve Him and help others through my online personal development internet business. You can check it out here:

I also love how God remember Noah and His love and friendship with him.

Mike, thanks for posting the song "Friend of God." I love it!

Ps 4:7-8
I have God's more-than-enough, More joy in one ordinary day Than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day's end I'm ready for sound sleep, For you, God, have put my life back together.

I've been feeling kinda rotten when I see other people still able to shop and buy what they want to buy. Me, I'm on a tight self imposed budget... I cannot continue spending the way I have been. Its just not acceptable at all. So a strict no-buy is in play and I'm feeling rather grouchy. But these verses remind me that I really have no reason to be as long as I allow my God of more-than-enough to fill my heart with Him. Plus with all the new clothes my darling dear hubby has been buying me, its really not like I don't have new things. I just have a covetous heart. Sigh...

thanks Mike for walking through the Bible with me and asking the right questions to get me to think.

Kitty, g'luck w SU... I was in it two years ago.

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