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Descendants of Shem

These are the descendants of Shem. When Shem was one hundred years old, he became the father of Arpachshad two years after the flood; and Shem lived after the birth of Arpachshad for five hundred years, and had other sons and daughters. When Arpachshad had lived for thirty-five years, he became the father of Shelah; and Arpachshad lived after the birth of Shelah for four hundred and three years, and had other sons and daughters. When Shelah had lived for thirty years, he became the father of Eber; and Shelah lived after the birth of Eber for four hundred and three years, and had other sons and daughters. When Eber had lived for thirty-four years, he became the father of Peleg; and Eber lived after the birth of Peleg for four hundred and thirty years, and had other sons and daughters. When Peleg had lived for thirty years, he became the father of Reu; and Peleg lived after the birth of Reu for two hundred and nine years, and had other sons and daughters. When Reu had lived for thirty-two years, he became the father of Serug; and Reu lived after the birth of Serug for two hundred and seven years, and had other sons and daughters. When Serug had lived for thirty years, he became the father of Nahor; and Serug lived after the birth of Nahor for two hundred years, and had other sons and daughters. When Nahor had lived for twenty-nine years, he became the father of Terah; and Nahor lived after the birth of Terah for one hundred and nineteen years, and had other sons and daughters. When Terah had lived for seventy years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran. (Genesis 11:10-26, NRSV)

Shem lived 600 years.

Arpachshed lived 438 years.

Shelah lived 433 years.

Eber lived 463 years.

Peleg lived 239 years.

Reu lived 239 years.

Serug lived 230 years.

Nahor lived 148 years.

Is this what we are to get out of this reading that people lived way longer in those days than they do now, or are these numbers not for the years that we say are years?

What if I told you that the numbers don’t really matter and what matters is the second son of Nahor?

Abram. Abram is the grandson of Nahor and the father of many nations!

You see Abram will become Abraham. And that is why this story is here. Not to prove you could live longer or time is measured differently. But to continue the story.

Are you continuing the story?

 

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Detestation of the Wicked

“May my enemy be like the wicked, and may my opponent be like the unrighteous. For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts them off, when God takes away their lives? Will God hear their cry when trouble comes upon them? Will they take delight in the Almighty? Will they call upon God at all times? I will teach you concerning the hand of God; that which is with the Almighty I will not conceal. All of you have seen it yourselves; why then have you become altogether vain? (Job 27:7-12, NRSV)

What will happen to those who do not trust God?

We can only hope that God will hear their cries as they turn their hearts to Him.

And how will they do this?

Because you have been an influence for God’s love in their lives.

 

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Hope in the Land

The heart is devious above all else; it is perverse— who can understand it? I the Lord test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings. Like the partridge hatching what it did not lay, so are all who amass wealth unjustly; in mid-life it will leave them, and at their end they will prove to be fools. (Jeremiah 17:9-11, NRSV

The Lord will search our minds and our hearts to give us what we deserve according to our ways, according to the fruit of our doing.

The Lord knows the reason we do the things we do. Is it out of the love that the Lord has poured into our hearts, or for our own gain?

The heart desires what it wants, but we must know if it is for the Lord or our own selfish gain. The Lord will always know.

Live for others, as the Lord lives for you!

 

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The Community’s Generosity

Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:32-37, NRSV)

Everything all of the believers had was held in common. And they distributed to anyone as they had need.

How many of us are ready to do that?

How many of us are willing to think about this?

The issue here is they didn’t own anything and saw everything they had as a blessing from God. This allowed everyone to sell all of their property and give all of the money to the disciples to use as it was needed.

Stuff is not bad. But when we give it too much value then it becomes an idol. We need to keep things in perspective, and the early church did that by selling everything and letting the apostles decide who needed what.

Are you ready for that?

 

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Stewardship and Generosity

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear? ’For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:19-34, NRSV)

It is really easy to say to not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. But how many of us wonder if we will have enough tomorrow?

But then there are some of us who have more than enough, and shouldn’t we share what we have with others, but then if I share I won’t have as much anymore so when is enough enough in sharing?

Or when is enough enough for me to have and not have to worry?

If you show me your checkbook I can show you where your heart’s desire is. You see money and treasure is a tool and a blessing that God has given us. Now does that mean if we don’t have a lot of wealth we are not good followers of God? No, it doesn’t. It means God has given you what He has given you.

You see we are all blessed by God with what we have in our lives and it is our need to share what He has given us so He can continue to bless us.

I heard a quote that needs to be the way we live our lives. “I drink from the saucer because my cup overflows.” We should all drink from the saucer because of the blessings we have been given.

How can we align our lives so we are focused on what we can do for God with our abundance, rather than worrying about our lack of anything?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

Now these are the descendants of Perez: Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron of Ram, Ram of Amminadab, Amminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, Salmon of Boaz, Boaz of Obed, Obed of Jesse, and Jesse of David. (Ruth 4:18-22, NRSV)

This is not the beginning of the descendants of Jesus or the end, but it is a part that needs to be known. Ruth is a direct descendant of Jesus and is important to our faith.

You are in the lineage of Jesus and Ruth’s story is part of your story.

How do you share the story of your faith with others so that might know how they are connected to Jesus?

 

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The Marriage of Ruth and Boaz

Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging: to confirm a transaction, the one took off a sandal and gave it to the other; this was the manner of attesting in Israel. So when the next-of-kin said to Boaz, “Acquire it for yourself,” he took off his sandal. Then Boaz said to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have acquired from the hand of Naomi all that belonged to Elimelech and all that belonged to Chilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, to maintain the dead man’s name on his inheritance, in order that the name of the dead may not be cut off from his kindred and from the gate of his native place; today you are witnesses.” (Ruth 4:7-10, NRSV)

So Boaz removed his shoe and purchased the land and legally acquired Ruth as his wife.

Since the unnamed relative was not able or unwilling to marry Ruth and carry on Elimelech/Mahlon’s name Boaz was able to marry Ruth and provide for her and Naomi.

Would we be so bold as to do this for a relative?

How much are we willing to give to help others live?

 

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