Monday, July 13, 2009

Week 2: Noah's Wife

Day 1: Girls Behaving Badly
Quote from Lord Thomas Dewar:

The road to success is filled with women pushing their husbands along.

Mrs. Noah is mentioned 5 times in Genesis. She had to have been a righteous woman to have entered the ark. We can safely assume that she was also a godly mother and mentor.

Girls were behaving badly as they crossbred with men of suspicious backgrounds. As humanity spiraled out of control, God was compelled to intervene....While the rest of society was raunchy, they were righteous....Imagine how difficult it must have been for Mr. and Mrs. Noah to raise their children in a society bent on sin...We can learn much from their example as we teach our children to be in this world but not of it.

Today's Bible reading is Genesis 6:1-4.

1. The word now places us at a point in time. Read Genesis 5:30-32, and describe when this story takes place.

Noah was born when his father Lamech was 182 years old. By the time he was 500 years old he had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japeth. The Message interpretation adds that Lamech said that having Noah would give them a break from the hard work of farming the ground that God cursed.

2.a. What does the text say about "the sons of God"?

It says that "the sons of God" saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and took them as wives.

b. What is your reaction to this account of "the sons of God" and "the daughters of men"?

This is a bit confusing to me. Were these people that God created in addition to the original creation of Adam and Eve? Where did they come from? Were they created in sin when Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden?
According to some commentary, (both in my devotion book and in what I'm looking up online) says that angels, possibly fallen angels, marrying human women. From these marriages could have come the giants to which are referred. Another interpretation is simply that godly men joined in an unequally yoked marriage with ungodly women.

It is distressing that it was the ungodly women who seemed to corrupt the godly men, but at the same time, the men chose them of their own free will....

This intrigues me, and is something I'm going to look into further!

3. What did the Lord decree and why?

The Lord decreed that men/people would not continue to live forever. He would limit their life span to 120 years. As to why--thanks again to the side notes, God was going to strive with, as opposed to judge, men for 120 years. That would give Noah time to build the ark and for sinners to repent before the flood.

4. Describe the giants--what they were like and how they came into being.

The giants were there around the same time and after the sons of God and daughters of men married. The humans saw them as men of renown, though they were not of God.

5. Read Numbers 13:32-33, and describe the inhabitants of the land of Canaan many centuries later.

The inhabitants were described as giants who made them look like grasshoppers. They were huge!

6. What does the presence of these "giants" tell you about the world in which Noah and his wife lived?

They certainly weren't the only people around, and seemed to be different in that they were living a righteous life instead of a sinful one. This refutes the thought that I have always had that the world was populated a little bit at a time strictly through the lineage of Adam and Eve. This speaks more like other people were also around, but their specific stories weren't told. However, reading some of the commentary online, it also could be that these were the offspring of different persons mentioned thus far in the Bible, too.

7.a. We've looked back as far as Noah's father and sons. Let's climb a little higher in his family tree. Read Genesis 5:21-29. What repeated phrase describes Enoch's (Noah's great-grandfather) unusual departure?

Enoch walked with God. In The Message, it says that he walked steadily with God

b. What record does Methuselah (Noah's grandfather) hold, and how old was Methuselah when he died?

Methuselah was one of the oldest, if not the oldest, mentioned man in the Bible. He was 969 years old when he died.

c. Why did Lamech (Noah's father) give Noah his name?

He named him Noah, meaning this one will give us a break from farming the ground God cursed according to The Message. In the NIV, it says that "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the LORD has cursed."

8. God's Spirit strove with the population in Noah's day, hoping they would repent and be saved from teh coming judgement. Isaiah said,"Woe to him who strives with his Maker!" (Isaiah 45:9)
a. Describe a situation in which you argued with God.

That's 'easy' to answer--the first thing that comes to mind is when the Lord was telling me to step back from assisting with the youth. I didn't want to do so, for several reasons: I knew Brenda and Dale needed the help and that they would want us to continue working with them, I felt guilty for stepping back, and didn't know who would pick up the slack. God kept telling me, though. I was unhappy working with them. It was a burden instead of a joy. I wasn't giving them what they needed because it wasn't my niche at that point in my life. It took me quite some time to vocalize this, however. God kept at me until I did!

b. How did the argument end?

God won out! He kept at me until I saw that His way was the only way I was going to get any peace. The peace that He gives is far better than anything I could say as to why my way was better!

c. What did I learn?

God isn't going to give up. He's going to keep at me until I do what He knows I need to do. Sometimes He needs us to trust Him enough to let go, even though all our human senses say it is the wrong thing to do, or even though it is difficult.

9. Today we've seen various theories regarding the giants. The fact is that all of us face giants of one sort or another. Journal a prayer asking God to help you conquer any "giant" that you face.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I've faced giants for years now, with Your help. Whether it be depression, anxiety, or the most recent 'heading' of fibromyalgia, I know that You are bigger than anything that satan can throw at this earthly body. If I trust in You and listen to the cues you give me, I know I will walk through any fire that comes my way. I am so blessed by you every day, Lord, in all my abilities and gifts that you've given me. Thank you especially today for my wonderful husband and our sons. You are so good to me!!

As you observe our society, it's logical to assume that God will not strive with us much longer. We will all face a day of reckoning. The Bible has thrown you a lifeline--take hold of it before it's too late.

This ends with a quote by Billy Graham:
If God doesn't judge America for its immorality, then He owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.


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