Devotions in Genesis (week 7:‘God’s People Walk With God Into Their Eternal Home.’)
Monday: read Genesis 4:25-5:8. God’s promise is to be ‘our God and the God of our descendants.’ This is the covenant He makes with people of faith (e.g. Gen.17:7). Though tragic roots of sin do rise up in unbelieving offspring like Cain, and though Adam does tragically pass on the ruinous effects of sin to his children, we are nevertheless to look for God’s promised fruit of faith in the line of our descendants. If you have been or are being drawn to Christ, it is often because believing loved ones have by faith claimed you for the Lord in their prayers. We see such faith bearing fruit in Seth’s birth, beginning with his name, which means ‘appointed’, as Eve explains in Gen. 4:25: ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel…’ Eve saw beyond the tragic loss of Abel and believed God’s promise was ‘for her and her children’ (Acts 2:39).
Meditate and Pray: As you look at the Christians whom God has brought into your life, thank Him anew that His plan is to ‘set the lonely in families’ (Psalm 68:6): holy families of faith. What a privilege it is to have loved ones and Christian friends, as examples to go before us, whose faith we are to imitate (Hebrews 13:7)!
Tuesday: read Genesis 5:1-31. We begin with the phrase: ‘and then he died’, used throughout Gen. 5. Sin delivers a death sentence, (Romans 6:23), and no one escapes its verdict. However, there is one person in Genesis 5 that does not die. Twice, in verses 22 & 24, Enoch is described as ‘walking with God,” a walk that climaxes with God carrying Enoch into the next life. By translating this believer into heaven without the pains of death, God shows that He is able to eternally save from death sinners who turn to Him in faith – just as Jesus promised the thief on the cross: “Today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
Meditate and Pray: Thank God death is no match for His life-giving power – and that the eternal life which Adam lost has been purchased for us anew by Jesus’ sinless life. ‘Death could not hold Jesus’ (Acts 2:24) because His holy life could not be overcome by the death sentence under which we labor. Jesus’ holiness makes Him a ‘life-giving’ Savior!
Wednesday: read Genesis 2:4, 5:1, 6:9, 11:27, 25:19 & 37:2. The phrase ‘the account of’ (Adam, Noah etc.) stands as a monument in Genesis. From the root ‘to give birth’, this word ‘account’ or ‘genealogy’ reveals God’s care for each generation of His own. Just as God created with fatherly care in the ‘account of the heavens and earth’ (same word, Gen. 2:4), so He carefully nurtures us as we walk in this fallen world. If we belong to Him by faith, then at the end of our lives, God will be able to write an ‘account’ that demonstrates His tender care all through our lives, proving that we are His own.
Meditate and Pray: Have you entrusted your life to the Lord of creation, Jesus? He wants to claim you to write the story of your life, just as surely as God claimed Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Make the words of this gospel hymn (605) yours now:
‘All the way my Savior leads me; what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt his tender mercy, who through life has been my guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, here by faith in him to dwell;
for I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.’
Thursday: read Luke 3:22-38. Genealogies became especially important for the Jews after the exile in Babylon in 587 B.C, in which many families and their lineages were lost, never to return to Israel again. To re-establish their claim as God’s people in Jerusalem, careful records were kept, and the Sanhedrin, Israel’s highest court, prescribed laws on how to preserve the legitimacy of one’s family line. For Luke, Jesus’ genealogy was important to prove He was a real man, descended from Mary’s line in Luke 3:23-37 – but also to establish the claim that this was ‘God’s Son (Luke 3:22) – not Joseph’s – who was only ‘supposed’ to be his father (Luke 3:23).
Meditate and Pray: Thank God today that Jesus Christ truly assumed human nature – with a real human soul, able to sympathize with our every trial (Hebrews 4:15). Worship Him as the Son of God, who alone has power to destroy the Devil and free us from our fear of death (Hebrews 2:14).
Friday: read Genesis 5:1-2, Luke 3:38 & John 1:12. With every page of the New Testament declaring it, we accept the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. But what do you make of Luke 3:38, calling Adam ‘the son of God?’ This goes beyond Genesis 5:1-2, which describes man ‘in God’s likeness’, but does not call him ‘the son of God.’ Our writer of Genesis, Moses, knew from his upbringing in Egypt that Pharoah called himself ‘the son of God’ and claimed to possess divinity. Moses avoided any polytheistic idea that would make man divine in nature. How then can Adam or we ourselves be called God’s children? Only by faith, as John 1:12 says. Sonship is a title reserved for those who by grace through faith are given the status of being God’s children.
Meditate and Pray: Thank God, that though we are we created from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7), with no natural claim to friendship with God, yet God humbly stoops down to our level, creating us in His image. But even more thank God that even after we rebelled against Him and lost all claims to communion with Him, He nevertheless made a plan to adopt us into His family through faith in His Son, so that 1 John 3:1 can be fulfilled in our lives: ‘How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!’