January - Reading 7

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Brother Adam, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. Brother Adam

    Brother Adam
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  2. Bible Believing Bill

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    As my wife was reading about the destruction of Sodom, she mentioned that she didn't understand why God saved Lot from the destruction. I hadn't done my reading yet, but I came up with two possible explinations.

    1. Lot was backslidden, but had still been saved. God let him leave Sodom, because once saved always saved.

    2. God saved Lot not for Lots sake, but for Abrahams. I made that statement based on logic and intuition. It seems to be the case based on Gen 19:29 "And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt."

    Just wondering if anyone else has anything to add.

    Bill
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

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    Hello all:

    Let me start by saying that I sure have enjoyed all of this discussion so far and we still have 358 days ahead of us. [​IMG]

    My first comment/question is about the appearance of the three "men" at the beginning of Genesis chapter 18. In Exodus 33:20, Moses is told by God that none can see His face. This is stark contrast to Abraham's close contacts with God. So, I propose this to you all: Is the incarnation with whom Abraham converses actually Christ (or, if you prefer, Jehovah) whereas the incarnation to whom Moses speaks God, the Creator/Father (or Yahweh)? We know that these manifestations are the same God because God tells Moses that He is indeed the same God who spoke to Abraham (Exodus 3:6).

    Next, I wish to make a comment about chapter 19. In being saved from the destruction of Sodom, is Lot judged righteous or is this because of Abraham's prayer for Lot and the covenant extending to all of Abraham's household? I ask this because of Lot's willingness to offer his daughters to the sexually immoral men in chapter 19 verse 8. Was this also a "custom" of this time period? I find this act in conflict not only with Christian nature but my own deep, primal, God-given instinct. We see a similar use of a child in Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Isaac in tomorrow's reading. I pray that the good Lord never sees fit to test me in such a way! I am afraid I would fail. Lot offering his daughters to protect the two men (angels) who were perfectly able to protect themselves shows a complete turning from morality to me. It actually makes me a bit ill. I find myself not liking Lot very much at this point. His greed in chapter 13 I can overlook but now he has become a contemptible man. I also don't buy the "I was drunk so it ain't my fault" reasoning in chapter 19:30 - 35. LOT drank the wine and became drunk, obviously to the point of blackout. This was irresponsible to say the least for a man with two young girls in his charge. I am more inclined to blame Lot than I am the daughters for the incestuous pregnancies. Lot raised the in a city known to be evil. I think that as a father, he was a failure.

    Finally for this posting, I want to end with a comment on Sarah's elderly pregnancy (by the way, Margie's pregnancy at 37 is termed "elderly"). This story reflects Elizabeth's story in Luke. I think most of you girls at the ripe old age of …well, past menopause, would get a good chuckle out of this as well. Again, a kid story pops to mind. My mother was teaching this very lesson to her Sunday School class when she asked, "What do you suppose Sarah did when she heard that she was going to have a baby?" After a pause, one little girl finally said, "Well, if it was MY Mom, she'd probably FAINT!" [​IMG]

    Amen!

    Will be posting more later, I'm sure.

    May God bless you

    - Clint

    After signing on and reading Brother Bill's posting, it seems I am not the only one who questions Lot's being saved. I look forward to further comments on this.
     
  4. John Wells

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    Concerning the question of “why God saved Lot from destruction:”

    2 Peter 2:7-10a (ESV)
    7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked
    8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the of defiling passion and despise authority.

    I think we all certainly agree that Lot was no “saint” by words and deeds, but he was a “saint” by faith. God was gracious to him because he was righteous, by faith, before God.

    In Christ,
    John
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Thank you so much for taking time to reply, Mr. Wells.

    I wanted to make a second posting this evening on Matthew 4:6. We find evidence here that Satan is plenty familiar with scripture. I have always kept this in my mind when someone seems so pious because they can spout scripture. So many cult leaders have used this same tactic and led a lot of good intentioned folks into destruction. I believe it is why we are to recognize each other by our love, by our deeds, by our faith, and by our fruits. Knowing God's word is by no means enough.

    May God bless all of you

    - Clint
     
  6. Helen

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    Aren't we blessed that God judges the heart? I'm sure Lot feels so...

    He started off outside the city, then near the city, then in the city. Probably in the city after the war when he had been a prisoner of war.

    And, folks, I don't think we have any comprehension of what it must have been like to live and try to raise children in a city which was wholly committed to evil. Perhaps, in offering his daughters, Lot was trying to choose the lesser of two evils? We don't know what his heart was like! We know he tried to honor his daughter's by inviting their fiances to escape with them, and was refused. Knowing that God would later judge Lot righteous, I cannot imagine the pain and turmoil that man must have had to cope with. Look at his wife -- she wanted to go back to that place! Maybe they were well-off? Lot and Abraham had parted company because they both had so much in terms of livestock and possessions.

    I'm just trying to get past the initial feelings we all have concerning Lot. He had gone from what may have been reasonable wealth to living with nothing in a cave with his two immoral daughters.

    Or... perhaps Lot's repentence and trust in God came AFTER that fiasco. We simply don't know. We can ask him in heaven... [​IMG] Gen 19:29 says God brought Lot out of the catastrophe because He remembered Abraham. Maybe Lot's repentance and ushering into righteousness came later?

    What is interesting in chapter 18, for me, is the conversation between Abraham and the Lord. It sounds like bargaining, but it isn't. The Lord is getting a lesson through to Abraham. It doesn't take too many righteous people in the midst of evil to make a difference. Not a difference like turning a culture around. But a difference for the children growing up -- if there is any example of righteousness in their lives, then they have a choice which road to follow. But when a child is born into a culture that is full up with evil, that child will never have any other example, and thus no choice. Rather than permit that, God, in His mercy, called those kids home. Because we see their deaths from this side, we shudder and wonder about the justice of God. But if you consider the option, you will realize that, once again, mercy triumphed over justice. They are safe in heaven now.


    About Lot's wife becoming a pillar of salt. How that happened I do not know, but it evidently happened. There is more to the story, though, I think. For a number of years I lead a deaf women's Bible study. They ask questions that we might consider silly. One time, when we were going through the Sermon on the Mount, one of them asked me, "Why Jesus say we salt?" "Why salt?" The others echoed her question.

    At first my inclination was to give the standard reply -- salt preserves and we are God's preservatives on earth. And that is correct, but God stopped my mouth (hands) that afternoon and I told them "Let me look and see. I will tell you next week."

    And when they were gone, I looked up EVERY time the word 'salt' or 'salty' is used in the Bible. And I never found anything other than what I was used to seeing.

    Until I checked one more use of the term: 'saltiness'. Jesus said that if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? "Saltiness" there is part of a phrase, "lose saltiness." It is not just two times in the New Testament, but four. Where were the other two? I didn't remember reading that...

    1 Corinthians 1:20 uses that phrase. Only there it is translated "made foolish"! God has made foolish the wisdom of the wise. God has caused them to lose their saltiness!

    And then, in Romans 1:22: Although they claimed to be wise, they BECAME FOOLS." They lost their saltiness. Same phrase. Same word.

    There are two kinds of wisdom: man's and God's. In the Old Testament many, many things are used as symbols of spiritual truths (but yes they really happened, as well). And we see in the Old Testament where there are salty wastes as the result of judgment. In Deuteronomy 29:23, God warns that if the people prefer disobedience, their land will become a salt wasteland.

    But they are also told that there are covenants of salt and that salt should season all their offerings.

    Perhaps Lot's wife became a monument to the folly of human wisdom? That thought has crossed my mind. On the other hand, Christians -- believers -- are (not will be, but ARE) the salt of the earth. We are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and thus have access to the wisdom of God, which James (chapter 1) says God will grant unsparingly to those who ask. God's wisdom or man's wisdom? Maybe Lot's wife was a monument to the latter.

    The business of Lot and his daughters is gross. And that's enough said about that!

    I love chapter 20. Abraham, saved by God, father of the faithful, ancestor of Christ, blows it again. There's hope for me yet... :D

    Sometimes I DO get SO discouraged with myself. I want to be so much better than I am. But then I look back on how far the Lord has brought me and shut up. He's doing just fine with me without my fussing. I know what I used to be. Is my cup half empty or half full? It's half full, and God's still pouring!
     
  7. John Wells

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    I just had another thought relating Lot's character and actions to ours. When one makes the "right choice" concerning placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, it will cover many "wrong choices," even the ones after our conversion. The road to sanctification is at a different pace for every believer. Let us not forget that.

    "Look at Jane over there. She thinks she's a Christian but did you know she has "X" sin in her life? And look at Lot over there. Did you know that he gets passing out drunk on occasion? And he thinks he's saved!"

    Matthew 7:1-3 (ESV)
    1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.
    2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
     
  8. Helen

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    There's even more to it than that, John! We are all at different points in life and ideas and backgrounds and everything when we are saved. So the person who is all the way to the 'west' in liberality and 'anything goes' will be led 'east' by the Holy Spirit in a desire to respect the law of the Lord. But the person who was way 'east' when saved, and extremely legalistic (trying to save themselves through right actions, right words, etc.) will be led 'west' by the Holy Spirit to a point of freedom in Christ.

    And someone looking at the two of them will be saying "Look, one is traveling east and one west. They can't both be right!"

    It is so easy for us to judge. And we are probably, in terms of a person's position in the Lord, wrong an awfully good percentage of the time!

    When I look at this lack we have of understanding others, I start to realize what Jesus was talking about when He told His Apostles that what was bound on earth would be bound in heaven and vice versa. It was not a matter of power given to the Apostles to judge people. Judgment ALWAYS belongs to the Lord. But the Lord gave them the wisdom to know HIS judgments, so that they would have the discernment needed to start the new church. The Roman Catholics seem to think that heaven followed earth's decisions here, and nothing could be further from the truth!

    It is interesting that we have Psalm 7 with all this. Looking at some of the lines:

    "O Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me..."

    "O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts,
    bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure."

    But take a look at this line -- this is really a wonderful description:

    "He who is pregnant with evil
    and conceives trouble
    gives birth to disillusionment."

    And in Genesis 8:21, God told Noah that the hearts of all men tend toward evil from childhood." And so trouble comes. But what does all that lead to? Disillusionment.

    And so we see so many angry, bitter, and defensive people around. They know fear so well! And although they long for love, they refuse the Source. It's really, really sad.
     
  9. Helen

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    No one is talking about the temptations of Christ. That is what Matthew 4:1-11 is about. I have heard some incredible sermons on these temptations. Here are some points I remember:

    1. They would not have been temptations if Jesus has not wanted, in His human nature, exactly what Satan was offering.

    2. The only weapon Jesus ever used was God's Word. This is the sword of Ephesians 6 that we, also, have been given. If Jesus could resist the worst the devil could tempt Him with using 'only' the Bible, then we have a weapon far more powerful than any temptation any of us are faced with!

    3. This is exactly the point where Eve fell down -- she added to God's Word instead of using it and depending on it.

    4. The first temptation is aimed at the physical -- basic hunger. Jesus' response shows us that even physical temptations based on what we perceive as real physical needs can be answered with God's Word.

    5. The first temptation is 'mental', pitting God's Word against God's Word -- wrong usage against right usage. And so we pray for discernment in divinding the Word correctly, so that we will not fall into the temptation of using it the wrong way. Jesus knew, and answered with the correct use.

    6. The last temptation is 'spiritual' -- going to the heart of Jesus' identity. Jesus would have it all at the right time, as God Himself. But He could have saved Himself the agony of the cross by simply giving in now. Notice He never disputed Satan's rule over the world at that time! And offering to save Jesus from the sacrifice that was coming was Satan's trump card.

    But it failed. Because Jesus know God's Word, and knew how to use it correctly.

    ...and on the seventh point I'm resting... [​IMG]
     
  10. Clint Kritzer

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    Before turning in this evening, I want to add that anyone who reads my posts here on the BB know that I am a firm believer in judgement belonging to the Son. The point I was trying to make earlier was that I believe, from a theological point of view, Lot was saved because of God's covenant with Abraham, not because of righteousness. Also, Lot did not have the benefit of scripture to guide his action but rather, as best as I can tell, had only the inherited knowledge of good and evil that Adam and Eve passed on to him. We all possess this instinct and it was Lot's betrayal of such with which I have trouble.
    Believe me, Lot's judgement is between him and God and not my business! I am certainly not one to throw stones at the adultress!

    Good night Brothers and Sisters

    - Clint
     
  11. Helen

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    Notice the disciples' prayer in Acts 4:29. They are praying for boldness in the face of persecution. They do not pray for the persecution to cease! That amazes me. We are so weak now!

    Let us quit hiding and pray for the boldness in the Lord to live as we should and talk as we should, so that His name may be glorified!
     
  12. Helen

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    Clint,

    Please know I used what you said as a springboard. I was not presuming on anything you were or were not thinking. Please forgive me if it seemed that way.

    You started me thinking.
    Maybe that's a dangerous sport?

    Helen
     
  13. Clint Kritzer

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    Actually, Helen, this entire conversation today has gotten me thinking to the point that it is now past 2:00 in the morning and I have so many thoughts I am unable to sleep until I write them down.

    Very coincidental that Helen gave us a definition of "righteousness" yesterday and now we are discussing Lot's righteousness. I got to thinking about what I said in my last posting this evening about Lot having no scripture to follow. ALL of these characters in Genesis so far have only spoken word from God to guide them. Cain and Abel made offerings. Why? How did they learn that? The tower of Babel was destroyed because the pride it represented displeased God. How were the people there to know that? Noah took animals for sacraficial purposes. How did he know to do that? ALL of these actions had to be directly inspired by vision, thought, or verbalization from God.

    Now we come to Lot. Was Lot's INTENTION righteous when he offered up his daughters? He had no precedent to go on. God had shown displeasure at the two kings who have inadvertantly taken Sarah into their harems but Sarah was a married woman. Perhaps Lot truly felt no guilt.

    In helping to raise my step-daughter, I have become the parent who falls on her like an anvil from the sky when she does wrong and often Margie needs to remind me that maybe she just DID NOT KNOW. It often makes me step back and realize, "Son-of-a-gun! Maybe she didn't!" Maybe Lot was truly ignorant of the nature of what he did because we as modern Christians have ALL of God's covenants to reflect upon but he did not.

    So far we have seen three covenants made with mankind since the fall from grace: 1) the covenant with Noah to never destroy the earth again which contained no stipulations; 2)the first covenant with Abraham to give him the land and descendants which required righteousness; and 3) the second covenant with Abraham to make him a patriarch which require circumcision. Lot was circumcised, he fulfilled his end of the bargain to the text.

    It IS the Son who sits in judgement but it is WE who confess on that day. I bought tobacco when I was a teenager. It was legal then, it is not now. The law cannot charge the merchant from my teen years for selling to me. No law = no wrong doing. Perhaps I HAVE judged Lot and by too modern a standard. I will go back to bed and meditate on this more.

    Again, goodnight

    - Clint

    [ January 08, 2002: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  14. John Wells

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    Thanks Clint for helping us all to think more deeply and profoundly upon these things!

    In Christ,
    John
     
  15. Kathy

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    I enjoyed Matthew's reading of Jan. 7. It amazed me how Satan was spouting off scripture to the Son of God! It also reminded me that Satan knows more of the Bible than I do, and I don't like that!

    Kathy
    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  16. Helen

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    from Clint:
    I got to thinking about what I said in my last posting this evening about Lot having no scripture to
    follow. ALL of these characters in Genesis so far have only spoken word from God to guide them. Cain and Abel
    made offerings. Why? How did they learn that? The tower of Babel was destroyed because the pride it
    represented displeased God. How were the people there to know that? Noah took animals for sacraficial purposes.
    How did he know to do that? ALL of these actions had to be directly inspired by vision, thought, or verbalization
    from God.


    Hi again, Clint!

    We are ASSUMING that all that was passed down until Moses was oral. I don't think the Bible indicates that. In Genesis 5:1, the statement is that this is a WRITTEN record. If the Tablet Theory is on to something, then this section was written by Adam, himself.

    There is something else that I think we should remember -- humans tend to add an awful lot to God's law. Jesus ripped into the Pharisees for this. And I have no doubt that human nature has not changed a bit.

    If we go back to our most ancient known written law, we will find Hammurabi's Code. This is only available to us in fragments, but what we find is fascinating: some of the major commandments along with laws about minute detail. All together.

    This indicates to me that people did have the basic law.

    And added to it, and added to it, and made a mess of the whole thing.

    So perhaps what God did with Moses was bring the thing back down to the basics again -- ten of them. The additional law for the theocracy of Israel required a society to keep, but the Ten Commandments are to the individual.

    Then we did it again. As Isaiah mentions, we add word on word, precept on precept.

    So Christ, when asked the most important law, cut it all down to the foundational two -- love God and love your neighbor.

    And, we still want to add to that...

    Some of the law we know was there from the beginning: worship God only; murder forbidden. That's pretty primary and representative of Jesus' two commands.

    Abraham lied about Sarah twice, thus tempting others to adultery, for which they were pretty upset with him. So people knew that adultery was wrong.

    The law given to Moses might have been the first time it was set down in writing. I don't know. But we do seem to have indication of writing from the beginning, and the Bible indicates that the major parts of God's law were known from the beginning.

    Was, in the final analysis, the "Law of Moses" more a cutting out of extraneous junk than something new?

    Did Lot know all along, in other words?

    (In the meantime, Clint, if your step-daughter is between the ages of about 10 and 17 or 18, she is in a state of mental jeopardy and confusion as her brain is literally becoming re-wired, and what you are sure she knew yesterday just may not be there for her today. These are hard years for both parent and child, as the parent must ask, almost from minute to minute, "OK, who are we dealing with NOW?)
     
  17. Clint Kritzer

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  18. RodH

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    This reading was very thought provoking. I was awake late thinking about everything covered in it. Most of my questions were discussed in the comments made in this thread during 2002, but I had several questions left.

    Why did Lot leave Zoar. Was it evil like Sodom and he feared it would be next? The "men" said they would spare that city because Lot had wanted them to. Maybe to protect his daughters from what they experienced in Sodom?

    Did Lot escape with any of his possessions? The passage indicates they left quickly. He had many possessions, at least at the time he left Abraham. Could that be what caused his wife to look back? The thought of leaving everything they had acquired behind to start over must have been hard on her.

    It is interesting just how corrupt Sodom was evidenced by the passage about ALL the men in the city, both young and old, came to Lot's house to take the 2 "men". Was Lot just being kind inviting the men to sleep in his house, or did he know that they were in danger if they stayed outside? I think maybe both.

    I like the statement that Helen made about Christ being tempted, especially "They would not have been temptations if Jesus has not wanted, in His human nature, exactly what Satan was offering." I had never really thought of it that was before, but it is true. How could it tempt Him if it didn't appeal to him in some way (His human side).

    Satan obviously knows Scriptures well enough to twist them to deceive others. Because this passage indicates he knows Scriptures, he either knows he will lose in the end and just wants to take a lot of people with him, or he thinks he can change how Scriptures say he will be defeated.

    Those were a few of my thoughts last night after I finished reading.

    Rod
     
  19. Aaron

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    'There is a great outcry over Sodom and Gomorrah; their sin is very grave...' Gen. 18:20 (NEB).

    Where did this outcry come from? It came from the land. . This is what is meant by the phrase, "the law of the land." It means the law of nature, or the law of God.
     
  20. Clint Kritzer

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    Hi Rod -

    Though it is strictly conjecture, the Geneva Study Bible agrees with your assessment of this passage. It was through Lot's intercession that the city was saved, but he dared not "push his luck" by remaining among the wicked.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     

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