The LORD God commanded Noah

As we go through a systematic study of the Holy Bible, it is easy to get caught up with the big picture and major accounts, that sometimes, we overlook some of the details that are extremely significant. We are journeying through the study of Genesis and I almost overlooked the name/title by which the sovereign God of the universe is referred to in the account of Noah’s flood.

Genesis 6:22 states that Noah did all that God commanded him.
Genesis 7:5  states that Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

God is used interchangeably with the word LORD and one of the main reasons for the LORD being used in place of God’s name is attributed to the Israelite custom of not spelling or pronouncing the Hebrew name of God (“YHWH”).

Merriam-Websters dictionary defines the word “God” as the one who is perfect and all-powerful spirit and it defines the word “LORD” as a ruler with power and authority over others.
So Noah was commanded by the perfect, all=powerful, ruler with authority over all – the LORD God and Noah did all that he was commanded to.

Point to ponder:
How do we respond to the LORD God i.e., the perfect, all-powerful, ruler who has power and authority over all? Do we respond as Noah did – totally/completely?

Genesis 6:5 (KJV)
22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Genesis 7:5 (KJV)
5 And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.

40 days and 40 nights :: Time to get Strong (Spiritually)

This is part of the 40 days and 40 nights series.

The Bible states that Jesus was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness and after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, the tempter (devil) came to him and tested/tempted him.

First it is important to recognize that Jesus was not alone in the wilderness. It was the Holy Spirit of God who was with him and who led him. Second, it is interesting to recognize that the tempter comes to tempt Jesus, during his time of physical weakness – after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights. The forty days and forty nights was the time before Jesus’ testing. Physically Jesus was empty but spiritually he was fully charged and even in his hunger, he had full control of his mind and effectively used the quick, powerful and sharp two-edged sword of God (the Scripture) (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12) to fight against the tempter and his temptations. His Spirit was willing and he did not succumb to the desires of his flesh.

Points to ponder:
When the Spirit of God leads us, even the wilderness of our lives is not a place where we are to feel alone and though physically (in the flesh) we may be weak, we will be strong and super-charged spiritually (in our spirit), when we are led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthews 26:41), so we ought to watch for the Spirit’s supervision and watch out for satan’s schemes (Ephesians 6:11; 2 Corinthians 2:11) and pray that the Lord deliver us from evil (Matthew 6:13) so that we do not fall into temptation (Matthew 26:40-41). Are you feeling lonely? Are you strong and supercharged?

Matthew 4:1-3a (KJV)
1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, ..

40 days and 40 nights :: Put an end to the time of taunting

This is part of the 40 days and 40 nights series.

The Bible states that the champion of the Philistines, Goliath of Gath, taunted the Israelites, and defied the armies of the living God (1 Samuel 17:26, 36) and God himself (1 Samuel 17:45), for a period of forty days, both morning (day) and evening (night) (1 Samuel 17:16), until David, the shepherd boy, responded to the call to fight and went against him in the name of the LORD of armies (1 Samuel 17:45). David defeated the taunter and put an end to the taunting that had gone on for forty days.

Points to ponder:
There may be many taunters in our life, some of which are life’s circumstances while others  are people, that taunt us and defy the LORD of hosts, whom we worship and serve. Like David, can each one of us, who are part of God’s army, respond to the call to fight and go against our taunters in the name of the LORD. The time of taunting may seem long, but it will come to an end, when God’s people rise up against the taunting and respond in the LORD’s name. Are you and I going to get up and go in God’s name to put an end to the time of taunting?

1 Samuel 17:4-10, 16,26,36, 45, 48-51 (KJV)
4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.

16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

40 days and 40 nights :: Strengthened by God

This is part of the 40 days and 40 nights series.

The Bible states that when God’s prophet, Elijah, was fleeing for his life from the evil queen, Jezebel, he was exhausted and fell asleep under a juniper tree. Before falling asleep, Elijah requested God to let him die for he thought that he had had enough of being God’s prophet and living his life on the run. An angel of the LORD touched him and woke him up and told him “Arise and eat” the cake that was baked on coals and some water in a jar, which he ate and went back to sleep. Then again, the angel of the LORD touched Elijah again and woke him up and told him, “Arise and eat, for the journey ahead would be too great for him.” Elijah ate and was strengthened by the food that God had provided for him. With that renewed strength, he journey for forty days and forty nights, until he came to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God.

Points to ponder:
40 days and 40 nights was the length of the journey that Elijah had to take to reach the mountain of God. What is important to note is not the extent of the timeframe of Elijah’s journey, but the state Elijah was in, the sustenance of God, and the final stop where Elijah comes to. Elijah was famished because he was running from evil. God provided for Elijah and sustained him supernaturally throughout his journey. Elijah reaches the mountain of God, where God speaks to him of his people and his plan for succession.
Are you and I famished running from evil?
Are we sustained by not the provisions of this world, but by the provisions of God and strengthened to journey a great distance (maybe even 40 days and 40 nights) until we come to the Holy mountain founded by God (Psalm 87:1)?
Life is a journey until we come into the presence of God – and this journey can be completed successfully, only if we run from evil and be strengthened by the provision God has made for us. Without Jesus, whom we are to take in, we cannot undertake this great journey to where God is, in his Holy mountain.
Are you and I strengthened by God?

1 Kings 19:1-8 (KJV)
1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
7 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.
8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

Our life you touch

Reuben Abishai PaulAmerica celebrates the third Monday of January, each year, as Martin Luther King, Jr. day, to remember the man who fought for the equality of all men, irrespective of race, touching the lives of many. And today, besides celebrating the birth of this great man, we celebrate the birth of another … our firstborn child, Reuben Abishai Paul, who turned eight. Words failed me as I intended to express my gratitude to God for such a child as this, by whom we (Sangeetha and I and Ittai) are so very blessed  … all I could pen were a few words, as follows …

We love you lots and wish you much
You are so special for all the lives you touch

Today marks a special day;
and for God’s choicest blessings, we pray
on you, our beloved firstborn
who like a beacon of hope arrived, when we were forlorn

The moment we held you in our arms,
we were reinforced of a Great God, full of charms.
An angel from God, to us, you came as a gift
and only Christ’s Name alone, we pray, you lift.

A little of Picasso, Beethoven, Phelps, and Gretzky,
even Comăneci and Bruce Lee, in you we see;
For as an artist, a musician, a swimmer, a hockey player, 
a gymnast and a Shaolin Do Blackbelt, you are a rising star
But most of all, we cherish you for the 
Theophilus, a loving brother, and beloved son, that you are.

We love you lots and wish you much
You are so very special, for our life you touch.

God bless you Reuben … Have a blessed birthday!
Mama and Dada and Ittai

Points to ponder:
People touch our lives in one way or another, like Martin Luther King, Jr., and our beloved Son, but the most important touch in your life is the touch of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:3-5). Have you been touched by the Lord, the touch that transforms death to life?

2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 (KJV)
3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you.
5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

40 days and 40 nights :: Prostrate and Praying

This is part of the 40 days and 40 nights series.

To fall prostrate before someone voluntarily is a expression that juxtaposes an attitude of adoration (or worship) and submission simultaneously. The Bible says that Moses was prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights, as an intercessor for the people of God, for God had told Moses that he was going to destroy them for their wickedness and evil practices (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25).

Points to ponder:
Do we humble ourselves and totally submit to God, falling on our faces, prostrate before him in an attitude of adoring and worship God for who he is?
Do we stand in the gap praying and interceding for God’s people, so that those who are not in Christ Jesus, the Ark of God, may not be destroyed?
Do we prostrate and pray?

Deuteronomy 9:25-26 (KJV)
25 Thus I fell down (prostrated myself) before the Lord forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the Lord had said he would destroy you.
26 I prayed therefore unto the Lord, and said, O Lord God, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.

40 days and 40 nights :: Fed or Fueled

This is part of the 40 days and 40 nights series.
The Bible states that Moses was in the presence of the Lord for forty days and forty nights and he neither ate bread nor drank water during that time and at the end of that timeframe, the Law of the Lord was given for his people, through Moses. (Exodus 24:18, Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 9:9,11).

Points to ponder:
It is only in the presence of the Lord, do we have fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) and the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Our strength does not come from the food that we intake but by the fuel of the Spirit of God when we spend time in his presence and our power come from fasting and praying (Mark 9:29). Like Moses, do we spend time with the Lord, gazing upon his beautiful glory (Psalm 27:4), so much so, that basic carnal necessities such as food become secondary, for to do the will of God the Father should be our sustenance, as it was for Jesus (John 4:34).  Are you fed or fueled?

John 4:31-34 (KJV)
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Mark 9:29 (KJV)
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

40 days and 40 nights :: God keeps his word (exactly)

The first time the Bible records the phrase “forty days and forty nights” is in the account of the universal flood during the time of Noah, but did you know that the are other accounts in the Bible wherein forty days and forty nights is mentioned. Though I must admit that I am not exactly sure as to what the explicit timeframe of “forty days and forty nights” signify, close scrutiny of the Scripture, reveals a lesson we can learn from each of the accounts in which this timeframe is mentioned.

This is part of the 40 days & 40 nights series.
The Bible records that it rained for forty days and forty nights as part of God’s judgment upon a violent and wicked generation during the time of Noah. God had told Noah that he was going to cause rain to fall for a period of forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:4) and that is exactly what happened (Genesis 7:12), not a day more nor a day less. We can learn from this, that when God gives specific instructions, we can take him at his word, that it will happen exactly how he says it will be.

Points to ponder:
God can be taken at his word and he does exactly what he says he is going to do. Do you and I take God at his word, exactly?

Genesis 7: 4 & 12 (KJV)
4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Deuteronomy 7:9 (KJV)
9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations,

Numbers 23:19 (KJV)
19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Wait in hope

God had asked Noah to prepare an ark to save his family and his creation. Noah faithfully obeyed and did all that God had commanded him to and just seven days before the flood, the Bible says that God informed Noah that he was going to send rain, in seven days , for a period of forty days and forty nights, and destroy every living substance from off the face of the earth (Genesis 7:4). God has warned Noah of the impending cataclysmic flood and now God had given him a timeline – another seven days to go, before his word was to come true.

I wondered, what those seven days would have been like for Noah? Wondered if thoughts of doubt would have crept into his mind? There was never an universal flood like what God had said before that time. Noah had to continue to trust God at his word as he did to prepare the ark that God had commissioned him to. Now it was the final hour and God had to come through – he had to wait in hope, and that is what he did.

Points to ponder:
The Bible speaks of the judgment of God that every one must face one day (2 Corinthians 5:10) and while we await that day, we need to wait in hope, without wavering in our faith. Noah believed in God and trusted him at his word. Do we?

Genesis 7:4 (KJV)
For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Titus 2:12-14 (KJV)
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

To keep seed alive – God’s plan

Genesis 7:3 speaks about the plan and loving nature of God, which is to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth, while in his just nature, he was going to destroy the world that he had created with the universal flood, in the time of Noah. “To keep seed alive” is God’s plan.

God so loved the world that he wanted to keep seed alive and in order to do so, ironically, God had to smite and bruise The Only begotten SEED of the woman (Genesis 3:15), Jesus Christ, so that by Jesus’ death and resurrection (Philippians 3:10), Jesus could destroy the devil who had the power of death (Hebrews 2:14) and give life to all who believe in him (John 3:16), the SEED (Galatians 3:16).

Points to ponder:
Jesus said, “I have come so that you may have life and that you may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) The SEED had to be bruised and afflicted (Isaiah 53) so that God could keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth. Only those who were in the ark were saved. In like manner, only those who abide in Jesus Christ, the Ark of God, shall be kept alive … Are you alive? In other words, is The SEED (Jesus Christ) germinated in your life?

Genesis 7:2-3 (KJV)
2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
3 Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.

Genesis 3:15 (KJV)
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Galatians 3:16 (KJV)
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

John 10:10 (KJV)
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.