Devotions in Genesis (week 8: This week and next we will study two men who stood against the godlessness of their day: Moses, the author of Genesis, and Noah.)
Monday: read Genesis 6:1-8. Questions such as, ‘Who are the ‘sons of god’ and ‘Nephilim’ referred to here?’ must not distract us from today’s main lesson on the greatness of wickedness in the human heart. God Himself saw ‘how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become…(verse 5)’, and His tender Divine heart was ‘filled with pain (verse 6).’ God’s just verdict is to wipe out all except the family of Noah because the deadliness of sin cannot be stopped otherwise. Time and again in Genesis, men’s growth in pride and evil results in their cutting themselves off from God forever.
Meditate and pray: The wicked take great pride in being ‘heroes of old, men of renown (Gen. 6:4)’, but let us pray earnestly that God will make us like Moses instead, who was ‘more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).’ Humility is the right way to study judgments like the flood, and helps us to understand that our lives are only spared because Jesus submerged Himself under the flood which our sins deserved.
Tuesday: read Exodus 10:24-29 and Hebrews 11:24-25. Moses opposes men exalted against God and faithfully records their judgment in the flood. In his personal life also, Moses learned the deadliness of sinful pride – especially in his conflict with Pharaoh. Moses demanded in God’s name that Pharaoh let the Hebrews go (families, livestock and all, Exodus 10:24-26) so that they might worship in the wilderness. Pharaoh proudly refused. Moses chose to ally himself with the Hebrews anyway, choosing to be persecuted with them rather than to enjoy Pharaoh’s sinful favor for a time.
Meditate and Pray: There are times when our professions of faith will be tested: when the choice will be as clear as Hebrews 11:25: either embrace the people of God in their afflictions or enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin and popularity with the Pharaohs of this world. Let us pray that Jesus will strengthen our hearts for such a challenge.
Wednesday: read Hebrews 11:23-29. Since he was in the family of Pharaoh and ‘trained in the wisdom of Egypt (Acts 7:22),’ Moses enjoyed fame and riches until he rejected it all in favor of suffering with God’s people (Hebrews 11:25). What was that reward, the prospect of which enabled him to persevere despite Pharaoh’s anger? It was the reward of ‘seeing him who was invisible (Hebrews 11:27)’, that is Jesus Christ, God’s Son, whom the Old Testament describes as leading Moses out of Egypt.
Meditate and Pray: Thank God that Moses was strengthened in his walk with God by the invisible presence of Christ, who accompanied him every step of the way in the desert (1 Corinthians 10:4). Are you being called upon to forsake the riches and worldly fame which drive so many of the world’s pursuits? Be assured that Jesus Christ will accompany you and will repay with His love every loss you sustain!
Thursday: read Hebrews 11:27. To face the anger of the great Pharaohs, to whom the whole world came to do homage and to seek aid (Genesis 41:57), was no small miracle of God’s heart-strengthening work in Moses. He had not always stood so boldly against a Pharaoh: remember his panic in Exodus 2:14-15.
Meditate and Pray: Thank God for the promise of Psalm 73:26: ‘My (human) flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and portion forever.’
Friday: read Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 11:27 and Acts 4:13. When our courage fails us, like a young Moses terrified of Pharaoh; like a proud Peter denying Christ three times; let us remember that it is not our courage and strength which we depend upon. The Holy Spirit does two great things to strengthen our fainting hearts and weak hands: He gives our faith a renewed vision of Jesus, and He gives us words and wisdom we never thought we had.
Meditate and Pray: Thank God for the clear vision of faith which He gave Moses: ‘He persevered, the Bible claims, not as if he saw the Lord, but because he truly did. Praise God that, though His ever-present aid is invisible, it is no less real than if we could see it with our own eyes.