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I want to start the new year in Genesis.  How well do you know it?  Maybe you’re a little rusty.  Try this little quiz to find out:

1. Before God sent rain, how was the earth watered?

2. After Noah’s family and the animals were in the ark, who shut the door?

3. How old was Abram when he left his country?

4. What comforted Isaac after his mother, Sarah, died?

5. What did God change Jacob’s name to?

6. Was Joseph bilingual?

7. What were some of the things Israel sent with Joseph’s brothers on their second trip to Egypt?

 

Answers:

1. …”streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground…”  Genesis 2:4-7

2. God did.  Genesis 7:13-16

3. He was seventy-five.  Genesis 12:1-5

4. He got married.  Genesis 24:66-67

5. He changed it to Israel.  Genesis 35:9-10

6. Yes.  Genesis 42:22-23

7. He sent balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, almonds, etc.  Genesis 43:11-14

 

How did you do?  I hope you did well.  If not, taking a closer look at God’s living Word will be a blessing to you.  May God go with you as you glean gems from His Word in 2017!

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Genesis 9:1-17

God is so good!  On Thursday last week my family went to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky.  I had just hoped for a cloudy day so it would somewhat make me feel like I was in Noah’s time.  I got my wish and more.  It was cloudy and sprinkling when we got off the ark.  We noticed a couple of people with cameras pointed towards the sky.  Then, as we looked up, we saw a double rainbow!    I immediately remembered God’s promise to Noah and all living creatures that He wouldn’t again destroy all life with a great flood.  I was moved to tears and felt very happy spiritually.

 

Genesis 7:4

It’s cloudy today.  When I was a teen, I was working at a Mexican restaurant when a customer approached me saying, “Do you know how long it’s been since we’ve seen the sun?”  Expecting an order for softshells or something else, the question surprised me.  The weather had been cloudy for awhile, and obviously, this man had been keeping track of the overcast days.  He looked distressed and I don’t remember the number of days he had counted, but I’ll never forget his question.

Today, I was curious about cloudy places.  I found out Seattle, WA is a very cloudy city with about 226 cloudy days every year.  https://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/US/cloudiest-cities.php

When Noah was in the ark, there were forty days of raining and forty nights of raining, meaning of course that the sky would have been cloudy for a long time.  If Noah could have had a smart phone with a weather app, he could have seen many images of clouds with rain in the forecast.

My family plans on going to the Ark Encounter in Kentucky soon.  I’ll be glad if it’s a cloudy day when we get there so I can feel like I’ve been transported back to Noah’s time.

 

Genesis 6:9-22, Genesis 7-8

Surely nearly everyone has heard at least part of the Biblical account of Noah and the ark.  But have many stopped to think about his wife?  Though she’s not mentioned by name, she’s mentioned several times in Genesis.  She and Noah had three sons, Shem, Japheth and Ham.  So, she helped to raise three boys.  Once this family comes on the scene, all of the “boys” are married.  Since Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood, I’m thinking his wife might have been about the same age.  This wife and mother was on the ark with her family and many animals probably experiencing ear-popping as they floated above the mountains.  What an adventure!

Later, Noah and his wife’s sons had quite a few kids.  So, if she was still around, she could have been a grandma too.

Being a mother can be so much fun!  Happy Mother’s Day!

 

Genesis 1:11-13, 8:11, Leviticus 23:40, Jonah 4:6

Our kids love leaves.  They love to find fallen leaves and examine them.  While out one day, our daughter mentioned that it looked to her like God cut out the leaves.  A child’s eyes recognized a designer, our Creator.  The oak leaf she admired was part of God’s plan on the third day of Creation.

Do you appreciate leaves?  Even though I recently raked, I do appreciate them.  It gave me an opportunity for exercise and it was interesting to observe various leaf characteristics.

You may recall some if not all of these positive references to leaves in the Bible.  In Genesis 8:11, when the dove came back to Noah with an olive leaf, that was an event of hope.  In Leviticus 23:40, branches of leafy “luxuriant trees” were to be used while rejoicing.  And in Jonah 4:6, “God provided a leafy plant” so Jonah could have shade.

Is raking on your “to do” list?  I hope you’ll view all those leaves with new appreciation, even to the level of a child’s appreciation.

Genesis 7:11-16, Genesis 10:1

April showers bring May flowers.  I couldn’t help but think that with a recent rain.  It was nothing like the rain in 2008 that caused flooding here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  But that flood wouldn’t compare to the flood in Noah’s time.

Imagine Noah and his family on the ark with all of those animals.  Maybe there was some initial fear, but surely they ended up feeling like God gave them eight free tickets to a floating zoo with animals from around the world!  They wouldn’t have to think about crowds.  If one or two of Noah’s family wanted to look at a certain animal, chances are the other family members would be elsewhere, perhaps looking at other animals they’d never seen before.

Maybe Noah shared animal tales later with his grandkids.    What an amazing adventure Noah and his family had!

Luke 1:26-30, Genesis 6:8, Deuteronomy 33:23, 1 Samuel 2:26

Having just celebrated Christmas, the Christmas story is fresh on our minds.  But did you notice that when the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary, he called her favored twice?  The conversation between Gabriel and Mary was brief.  Out of curiousity, I asked my husband to time me reading most of the above verses from Luke.  It ended up being one minute and five seconds.  Of course I don’t know the rate they were speaking and the length of time for Mary’s responses, but maybe that’s close.  What we can gather from Gabriel’s words though, is that it was important for him to let Mary know she was favored.

Who else was favored by God in the Bible?  Noah was, as was Naphtali, Samuel, etc.  We can study them and others that He favored to get tips on how to live for God.

Let me ask you a question.  If you were a Bible character, and if you were described, do you think you would be described as being favored by God?

As you ponder your New Year’s resolutions, in addition to any possible physical goals, consider topping your list with spiritual goals and including actively seeking God’s favor in 2012.  A good place to start is Psalm 84:11-12.  May we all choose to gain favor from God, the King of Angels!  Blessed be His name!

Genesis 6:14-16

We’ve all probably seen an artist’s rendition of Noah’s ark. To get an idea of what it probably looked like, only smaller, check out this web site.

Methuselah
Image by seamusiv via Flickr

Genesis 5:21-27 (KJV)

21 And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah:

22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years:

24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

25 And Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech.

26 And Methuselah lived after he begat Lamech seven hundred eighty and two years, and begat sons and daughters:

27 And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.

Enoch, who stood out in Scripture as a role model (walked with God, God took him away), was Methuselah’s dad. Methuselah lived 969 years, 19 years more than Noah his grandson (Gen. 9:29), and 794 years more than Abraham (Gen. 25:7).

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